“Peter began to tell Him, ‘Look, we have left everything and followed You.’” — Mark 10:28
As competitors, it’s easy for us to get caught up in statistics. The media highlights record-breaking numbers, titles won and awards received. Actual competitors know that these accolades don’t define them. If it doesn’t and shouldn’t define you, would you give it all up?
If the Lord spoke to you today and told you to give up your sport and follow Him, could you sacrifice it all?
Two-time heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medalist George Foreman gave it all up to follow Christ and share the gospel. When Foreman accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior, he discovered there was more to life and more fight in him.
In Mark 10:21, Jesus tells the young ruler to sell all his possessions, give them to the poor, and follow Him. He went away sad because he had many possessions. When talking with the disciples, Jesus said it is hard for those who trust in riches to enter the Kingdom of God. The disciples were shocked to hear this. Peter exclaimed to Jesus that they had left everything to follow Him.
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus said, “there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for my sake and for the sake of the gospel, who will not receive a hundred times more, now at this time—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and eternal life in the age to come. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Mark 10:29-31)
Some of you may think you’re making sacrifices for your sport. Instead of sitting in front of the television after a long day, you volunteer for church committees, sing in the choir, or work in the food pantry. What motivates us to do these things? If it is to build up a storehouse of good deeds, then we’re more concerned with building a record as Christians than honoring Christ. In other words, our “sacrificial” service isn’t really serving anyone but ourselves.
Christians are called to follow Christ and serve others because of our love for Him and the great commission. No amount of possession or title can grant us eternal life, but with God, all things are possible. You are rewarded with so much more when you forsake the things of the world and follow Christ.
In what ways have you sacrificed to serve others in your sport and others in your life? How has that helped you grow in your relationship with Christ?
What steps can you take to keep your motives on track — both as a competitor and as a child of God?