Posts Tagged ‘sports’

GHS TeamI grew up playing team sports, mostly soccer, and still do to this day. The most successful teams I have been a part of had a core group of players that were very close. We were all on the same page, which allowed us to work well together. We were selfless – meaning no one individual was bigger than the team. No one was afraid to set up a teammate that was in a better position to score. It’s the little things that push the team to achieve the big goals. The best teams don’t always have the best players, but the best teams have players who are willing to give the glory to their teammates for the success of the team.

In relationships you are forming a team. How can this two-person team perform to its highest potential? First, you cannot put yourself before the team. You have got to be willing to make that extra pass for the easy goal instead of trying to make the ESPN Top 10.  That is part of being selfless. If you go into every day with a selfless mindset your team will see the most success. Having a selfless mindset and saying “How can I be a better (husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend) today?” is one of the most important parts of the relationship.

When you put yourself above the team things begin to go south. If only one of the two is being selfless in a relationship then the one will become resentful of the relationship and will eventually begin not to care. The same thing happens in sports. If one player thinks he is bigger than the team it can tear the team a part. No one wants to put in the extra effort for a teammate that doesn’t care about them.

Every piece needs to be clicking for success. But things will break down at some point – whether that is from a bad performance in sports or a moment of weakness in a relationship.

Relationships are not perfect and there is no perfect formula. Things will break down every now and then, but when they do THE TEAM needs to work together to fix it. That is the only way the relationship can get better. Mistakes are a given! They are going to happen! So, even if you are the one that didn’t mess up and you are upset….remember you are going to mess up at some point too. Forgiveness.

How do you respond when your teammate messes up? Do you complain and whine? That only compounds the problem. They need encouragement and at the very least constructive criticism. When you feel the team or relationship becoming divided put your pride aside and you be the first one to step up and say something. I know it can be tough in the heat of the moment…but times of difficulty are HUGE opportunities for growth as a TEAM. The best way to learn is through mistakes, but to learn from them you have to work together. Take advantage of those opportunities as a team and grow closer.

In your relationship think about how you can better serve the other half. If you are both striving to be like Christ then you are on the same page and you will find common ground. When you have that figured out the fruits of the relationship will begin to blossom. That is why God gave you teammates…use your teammate or lose your teammate. Wake up every day with an attitude of, “How can I make my teammate better?”

“In your relationships with one another have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” -Philippians 2:5

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Everyone would agree that some of the most elite athletes such as Tiger Woods, Kevin Durant, and Derek Jeter have worked extremely hard to get where they are today. But they didn’t just wake up and say, I’m going to be a professional athlete one day BOOM. Each one of them had to put in hours of hard work, grit, perseverance, determination, focus, discipline, application and many other traits to attain the position and platform they now have. With that being said, sports are one of the main things we as Americans associate ourselves with on a daily basis, especially dudes. Our day: Wake up, turn on ESPN then go most of the day scrolling through various webpages on different sports and sporting events. On the weekends we attend some of the biggest and loudest football games one could imagine. Sports are some of the greatest ways to bring friends and families together, but they can also teach us a lot about different things in life.

Being a sports junky, analogies like this one I’m about to tell you are so prevalent to my walk with Christ and hopefully will be influential for your walk with Christ. Growing up I have always been around some type of sport or attending a sporting event. It has been my life, my escape, a way for me to express myself, and a way for me to be challenged at the same time. All in all, not the easiest of rides though. I have dealt with many ups and downs along the way. Sometimes frustration gets to you while other times you cannot seem to miss a shot out there and the game is just…. easy. In the end, sports have shown me a lot about how to have a successful walk with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

To play any sport, practice and preparation are necessary. This is the same in our walk with Jesus. God asks us as servants of Him (2 Timothy) to be fully equipped for every good work. If I am not preparing and building on an area of my game on a consistent basis I will fall in tricky places throughout competition. The same goes for our walk with Jesus. We must work to consistently and intentionally be filling our mind with the good word, taking next steps, and seeking Godly community around us to hold us accountable. We are in awe when Tiger Woods makes a putt to win or Kevin Durant makes a game winner, but do you know how many hours of preparation these guys have put into their job? What if we practice living for Jesus like these professional athletes practice for a game or tournament? We would be hitting game winners almost every week and be on Heaven ESPN top ten. My point is, to be successful in living an AGAINSTIFLOW lifestyle, changes and hard work are mandatory. The work can be hard, but the end results are priceless.

I’ve seen it in my own life when I’m clicking on all cylinders and able to really feel a connection with Jesus. I’ve seen the power of one or two guys encouraging me and the impact that can have. It is a powerful spirit that can really help you overcome any thoughts or things the world throws at you. And the thing is, it’s totally possible for all of us to live fired up for Jesus on a consistent basis. So let’s break it down in the Holy huddle and start feeding off each other. Time for us to stop waiting and wishing for a perfect pitch and shift our attention on preparing ourselves for the pitch we think we can’t hit. That’s the name of the game. As always, live life against the flow, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” -Romans 12:2

Are you ready??