“As you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” — John 17:18
When things don’t go your way, it’s hard to want to keep going. But when you play for God, you can be confident that you are playing and living for a greater purpose or reason.
Purpose is a big word that can have a lot of meanings depending on the situation. Usually, how you apply that word to different areas of your life is based on what matters most to you.
For example, let’s take a few minutes to walk around and search for one object you can bring back (piece of nature, sports equipment, etc.) that represents something important in your life.
- What did you bring back, and what important thing in your life does it represent?
- What aspect of your athletic life matters to you the most and why?
It’s a question all athletes ask themselves at some point in their life: “Why do I play? Why do I compete?”
Usually that question comes up when dealing with a hard time like getting hurt, feeling tired, when you or your team are losing or when you have issues with family or teammates. And it’s easy to focus on other things you think will solve your problems like winning, being the best at your sport or on your team, getting an award, having your coach like you or getting a starting spot.
- How often do you ask yourself the question, “Why do I compete?”
- What helps you stay motivated as an athlete?
Jesus wants to redefine what success and winning are all about. Life’s greater purpose has much more to do with God and others than it does with you:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” — Matthew 22:37–39
Part of loving God is giving Him the glory for anything good you do; and part of loving others is to tell them about Jesus and remind them how to live like Christ:
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” — Matthew 28:19–20
- How often do you want to compete or live for yourself?
- How do those verses in Matthew make you want to compete and live for a greater purpose?
“Dear God, thank You for loving me and wanting the best for my life. I have lived my life for myself and done things my way, and I am truly sorry.
Jesus, I believe that you are God and have forgiven all my sins by dying and coming back to life again for me. I trust You and ask You to be Lord of my life. I surrender my life to You. You are my God, my Savior and my Lord. Let me experience Your love and Your good plans for my life! Amen.”