Legendary Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant once said, “It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” Think about that…when it comes to winning, preparation is key! So for coaches and athletes, two things are important in sports. Winning is important and because winning is important, preparation is also important.
Winning IS important. The most common reason for coaches being hired and fired is connected to wins and losses, so winning (as defined by the scoreboard) is not unimportant. However, for the athlete or coach who is saved by the blood of Jesus, winning on the scoreboard is secondary, and not of ultimate importance. What is ultimately important is that our coaching and competing would be a praise performance that points those around us (teammates, coaches, fans, opponents) to the glory of God through Jesus Christ.
Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.”
So there is a will to win and with it there must also be a will to prepare to win. The Christian athlete or coach must prepare in such a way that they are growing in their craft, their skill related to the sport they are competing in. That is important – a poorly trained and poorly prepared coach or athlete is not a great witness for Jesus Christ! Even more important, however, is preparation in order to do your skill, your craft for God’s glory.
Colossians 3:1,2 “So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth.”
Colossians 3:23,24 “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.”
Seek, set your minds on what is above by spending time getting to know Him in His Word. Both require a training of the mind through Scripture to stop thinking man’s way about sports and competition and start thinking God’s way. There are only 2 ways of doing sports…man’s way or God’s way. Do you have the will to prepare to win God’s way? Do you spend time in God’s Word daily? Do you have music on your playlist that reminds you of God’s truth? Do you have friends around you who will help you remember God’s Word?
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