“…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16
If there was a mission statement for a Christian athlete, I believe it would be this verse. Here we find Jesus not recommending us to shine our light, but commanding us to. From the very beginning, God’s children (us) have been called blessed so that we can bless others. In other words, to shine our light so that others may see Jesus in and through us.
When we read this passage, we arrogantly think that “others” mean only the fans. I did at least. But we tend to forget about the others in closer proximity to us on the court or field; that is, the coaches, your teammates, and even the opponent. Do you play in such a way that even the opponent sees Jesus? This is the call of a Christian athlete.
So how do we do it? For me it always helps to think of Jesus and the cross. I always felt that I could not compete at the highest level and be Christian, but that all changed when I saw how Jesus took the cross. Our King had opponents mocking, spitting and beating him and yet he prayed (and died) for them. In humility, he carried our sin up a hill and defeated the Enemy. There is so much more to be said about Jesus’s example for us in Calvary, but let’s just start by praying we would be more like the Ultimate Champion and Victorious One on the field and court.
- Meditate on Jesus’s command to shine your light and how he glorified his Father on the cross.
- Ask God to reveal ways you can shine your light so that your coaches, teammates, fans and opponents can see Jesus in you.
- Pray for your team and the opponent and that all involved would glorify God by the way they compete.