“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”-Colossians 3:23
So, dodge ball may or may not be one of my favorite sports (and by that I mean it definitely is). And for those of you who know me, I may be slightly (as in really) competitive. I’m not a fan of losing, but unfortunately it happens sometimes. Tonight was one of those times as I competed with some of my brothers and sisters in Christ at the St. Edward’s University Homecoming Dodge ball Tournament.
Everyone has heard the cliché “competition can bring the worst out in people,” and as Christians we’re held to higher standards in the arena of competition. If we get really intense or hit someone hard we risk being ridiculed for our actions. Here’s what we need to understand: Getting into the game and hitting someone hard isn’t bad if your going 110% for the Lord. It actually pleases Him!
I’ve been involved with FCA since 6th grade, and as a Christian athlete I have signed and work to follow the Competitors Creed:
I am a Christian first and last. I am created in the likeness of God Almighty to bring Him glory. I am a member of Team Jesus Christ. I wear the colors of the cross.
I am a Competitor now and forever. I am made to strive, to strain, to stretch and to succeed in the arena of competition. I am a Christian Competitor and as such, I face my challenger with the face of Christ.
I do not trust in myself. I do not boast in my abilities or believe in my own strength. I rely solely on the power of God. I compete for the pleasure of my Heavenly Father, the honor of Christ and the reputation of the Holy Spirit.
My attitude on and off the field is above reproach - my conduct beyond criticism. Whether I am preparing, practicing or playing; I submit to God’s authority and those He has put over me. I respect my coaches, officials, teammates and competitors out of respect for the Lord.
My body is the temple of Jesus Christ. I protect it from within and without. Nothing enters my body that does not honor the Living God. My sweat is an offering to my Master. My soreness is a sacrifice to my Savior.
I give my all – all of the time. I do not give up. I do not give in. I do not give out. I am the Lord’s warrior - a competitor by conviction and a disciple of determination. I am confident beyond reason because my confidence lies in Christ. The results of my efforts must result in His glory.
LET THE COMPETITION BEGIN. LET THE GLORY BE GOD’S.
Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t say let the opponent walk all over you or don’t try your hardest because your faith may be questioned if you hit someone too hard. It says give your ALL, ALL THE TIME.
As Christian athletes we aren’t weak, we’re strong. Why? – Because our strength comes from the Lord. With God on our side, we are stronger than we can imagine.
There has been many times I feel like I can’t possibly run another step, but God proves me wrong over and over again. Somehow I end up running the last sprint as fast or faster than my first (and that is definitely NOT on my own strength. I’m a volleyball player… I move 10 feet and am done. Pulse check anyone?).
Other times we walk onto the court, field, or stadium and seem to be facing Goliath. In those times it would be easy to back down, but we don’t. We do the opposite. We put on the full armor of God (Eph. 6), stand up, look him in the eyes and tell him “BRING IT”. Despite the outcome, if we go all out we glorify Him (Col. 3:23).
So here’s the point: Get in the game. Don’t be timid because you’re worried about people seeing you in the wrong light. God gave you a gift, it’s dishonoring to Him not to use it to its full potential.
This is one of my favorite pictures from the 2011 season. If you didn’t notice, my veins are about to pop out of my neck and that face isn’t timid (2 Tim. 1:7). That point was won for and with Christ. After all, my collegiate volleyball career is a gift from Him and I don’t plan on wasting it. He’s given me a platform to show His glory and that’s exactly what I’m working to do.
G3 (Give God Glory),
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” -1 Corinthians 10:31
A little food for thought: At a recent retreat, a fellow camper referred to fear and asked what would have happened if David had backed down from Goliath…think about it. (1 Samuel 17)