Tapping into Your Potential
“You were taught, with regard to your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
-Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)
As athletes, a majority of us are constantly searching for two things when it comes to increasing our athletic performance:
- Things that make us better.
- Things that make us worse.
Athletes who are serious about reaching their full potential are always looking for that next exercise, diet or drill that will help them increase their performance. Similarly, athletes are also on the lookout for things that will inhibit or corrupt their performance (bad habits, poor attitudes, wrong diets, etc.) so that they might be able make changes and achieve their full athletic potential.
It’s easy for us to focus on and strive for things that strengthen our relationship with Jesus and forget to also focus on ridding ourselves of our sins and deceitful desires. In Ephesians, Paul states that we as Christians have been taught “to be made new in the attitude of (our) minds” and “to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness.” Putting on a new self implies that we must get rid of the old one. The new life Jesus gives us offers us freedom from the pain caused by the deceitful desires that plagued our hearts before we knew Christ. Therefore, accepting Christ teaches us to refuse thoughts and actions of the sinful nature and allows us to be proactive in eliminating any old sinful desires that prevent us from reaching the lives God has in store for us.
Think about it this way. Someone who decides to start exercising yet still maintains an unhealthy diet will not see significant results from the exercise. He or she is hindered by lingering bad habits. Very similarly, when we try to surround ourselves with things that will no doubt help us in our walk with Christ, we often find them ineffective because we failed to rid ourselves from the sinful things from which Christ came to set us free.
It’s no secret that the life of sin we’ve all experienced brings us death. However, if we choose to deny ourselves—essentially deny sin the ability to be in our hearts—we can live through Christ, our loving Lord and Savior. And even if the world tells us that following Christ is not something popular or necessary to life, we will build a firm foundation and faith on Jesus. It’s not what we do, but what was done for us by our Lord and Savior, Jesus.
1. Can you identify some things that are holding you back from progressing in your relationship with Jesus?
2. Just as we athletes coach each other on the field, how can we help “coach” other Christians in their walks with God?
Mark 8:34-38; 10:43-45
1 Corinthians 2:12
1 Peter 1:18-21; 4:1-3
2 Peter 1:5