“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” -Colossians 3:17
We look down on the field and we see a kneel, a cross or a pair a folded hands. Stephan Curry has a tap and a point to the sky. Little reminders of their faith before the world. We define these role models as “Christian athletes” but that’s not really who they are. They are Christians first, athletes second.
In sports we often allow the athletes to be defined by the “Christian” label. We don’t describe people as “Christian accountants” or “Christian car salesman” so why is the term “Christian athlete” so common among people? Christian should not be an adjective thrown on to something. Being a Christian is who we are. When it comes to sports, people just “mix in a little Jesus with it” or add in a little bit of God for good luck. Deuteronomy 10:12 says, “Serve the Lord your God with all your heart, and your mind and all your soul”. We are to be ALL for him because he is ALL for us. When you have Jesus increase in what you do and you decrease your ego your focus is not for personal accolades but for the greater glory of God.
Being a Christian athlete is much more than a tap on the chest or a prayer before a game. As an athlete, playing our sport is our form of worship. If we are serious about showing the love of God to others and giving thanks, then rethink how you show your love through your sport. Matthew 10:33 says, “If you deny me in front of your peers, I will deny you in front of my father”. In a culture where everyone worships the person or the accolades, we need to redirect the attention to who is really allowing you to have your talent and be so successful. With money, contracts, brand deals, commercials, and so many things are focused on the person, but not the heart. Athletes are looked up to by millions of people. Instead of looking at these people as followers, jersey sales, or numbers on a screen, these Christians look at these people as millions of opportunities to show Christ’s love.
As athletes are growing in popularity and become greater celebrities by the day, we have more opportunities to share our faith and have an influence on people we could have never reached before. Our responsibility as Christians is to show God’s love and to share our faith. As athletes, we can show our faith more than a normal person would. Your worship is your sport. We need to start taking advantage of it and doing all to the greater glory to God.