Sports are universal languages. I have always loved this aspect and that they can be used as a mission field. As head sports editor for The Bison, I might be biased in my love for sports. However, the love of sports spans the globe.
We do not have to know the same language to have a connection with people.
In many ways, the love of Christ is similar. Christianity brings together the least likely people from all around the world. I love to think of this concept — even though we may view certain aspects of religion differently we are still united in Christ, and sports can be a means for people to see him.
I think Philippians 4:13 is a good verse to remember when we fail or use as a humbling reminder that the victory really is not ours when we win. The verse says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The verse does not say “I can do everything on my own” or “I will always win because of God’s strength,” but rather that we will each be able to face our own battles with a strength that only comes from God.
Too often in sports, we get consumed by our own issues, and it so quickly becomes all about us. We often need to take a step back and realize that maybe the injury happened for a reason. Maybe we did not play great so we could be humbled. Maybe there is more to life than winning.
We must never forget that our ultimate victory comes from Jesus. This world is not our home.
In both sports and and religion, I would like to acknowledge that it is not all about winning, but giving your all.
If an athlete only focuses on winning or losing, they will most likely quickly lose the love of the game and feel defeated, even after a win.
If Christians focused only on ourselves, a similar phenomenon would take place. We would get caught up in our transgressions and consumed by a sense of unworthiness.
However, we must give it our all when we are here. We are called to do everything as if working for the Lord (Colossians 3:23).
Actions speak louder than words. Especially as Christians, we are held to a higher standard of speaking life and lifting others up in all aspects of our life, sports included.
Being a student athlete at a Christian university has given me insight into many different cultures. I have had teammates and friends who are not religious at all, and I have learned so much from them.
Words and actions are both such powerful resources, they should never be taken for granted. No matter where we are or what stage of life we are in, we are called to be more.
Even though there is sometimes a Harding bubble, it is important to remember the world outside and realize that one day, we will all be out there. How are we going to make a positive impact?