The Witness of Kindness
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
I don’t know if any of you saw the Jets/Dolphins game yesterday or if you caught the highlights on SportsCenter, but if you did, you probably saw the clip of Jets strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi tripping Dolphins CB Nolan Carroll as he was running down the sideline. Alosi was quick to apologize and make amends with the offended parties, so I’m not by any means pointing fingers at him. It was probably just a very bad decision made in the heat of the moment during competition.
Man, sports can bring out the nastiness in us, can’t they? When we get into competition, we can turn into completely different people. We can take on that win-at-all-cost mentality and forget that we’re actually out on that field for the higher purpose of bringing glory to God.
Because today’s athletic culture is getting to be so cutthroat, we need to remember that the simple act of being kind on the field can be a powerful witness for Christ. When we simply choose to be nice to others during competition while still competing to the best of our own ability, we reveal that the score of the game isn’t more important than the people who play it. That is the mentality of Christ, and if we truly understand what it means to compete for Him, it will be ours as well.
Today, as you compete or practice, make an effort to simply be kind to others. No, that doesn’t mean you have to be passive on the field, but it does mean that you can avoid taking cheap shots or giving in to anger when the opportunities present themselves. Learn how to compete at your best level and allow the Lord take care of the results. He’s got a plan and a purpose, and He’s got you out there for a reason. Your part is to go out there and reveal Him to the world around you through holy actions and words. And the simple act of kindness is one powerful way to send that message.
1. Have you ever taken a cheap shot during competition? Why? How did you feel afterward?
2. How is being kind a witness for Christ?
3. How can you be a tough competitor and still be kind to others?