Fear Not

By March 26, 2008 Uncategorized

Fear dominates the sports world. It doesn’t matter what level of competition. This season, 3 time NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas of the Washington Wizards was faced with the second knee injury of his career. It was no shock to me to hear how he handled the situation.

Arenas said this in a recent interview with the Washington Post. “It’s more mental,” said Arenas, who has not played since undergoing surgery on Nov. 21 to repair the left medial meniscus and a non-weight bearing bone on the side of the knee. “I’m actually scared to play right now. I think that’s where we’re at right now so I’m looking at it game by game. I think I’m scared to go out there right now.”

This is a sad reality. Instead of focusing on Christ and the cross, athletes often times get caught into the fear trap. This trap has a way of handcuffing athletes and keeping them from going anywhere near the potential that God has planned for them. In Gilbert’s case, it’s keeping him from competing altogether.

In 2 Timothy 1:7, God says “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline.” Is the sin of fear driving your competition? If so, confess it and repent of it. Yes! The Gospel has power even over obstacles such as this.

Brian Conklin
Omaha Area FCA

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3 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    The only thing I would say is that Gilbert is saying he’s afraid of hurting himself again. Granted, it’s true we should completely trust God and compete knowing that no matter the outcome, we are redeemed by Christ’s death and resurrection. But there’s nothing wrong with being afraid (or at lease wary) of re-injuring a tender area. Just because we trust in Christ, doesn’t mean we can’t get injured.
    I injured my ankle this winter. I’m pretty good now but it still hurts sometimes. I’m running the steeplechase on Saturday and I’m a little concerned it might affect my race or even that I might injuring it again. The thing is, I know that even if I get injured again (even a career ending injury) I win in the end, because I have been redeemed by Christ’s death and resurrection.
    Fear can be a sin in many situations, but it’s not always a sin…

  • Brian Conklin says:

    “Anonymous”,
    Thank you for your comment. Injury is a tough subject to deal with. If an athlete competes long enough it is a guarantee that they will face the injury bug at some point in time. In fact, it’s safe to say that injuries are a part of the game. I believe that there are two types of fear in the world: 1) A fear of God- which is right. 2) A fear of anything else (failure, death, cicumstances, etc…)- which is sin. I understand what you are saying, but I think you can better sum it up as wisdom. Part of sports is knowing when your body is ready and when it isn’t. In the case of Arenas, he was cleared by the doctors at the point that his statement was made. He had sought wise counsel, and was given the go-ahead. This is why I believe his statement was not the case of using wisdom but the case of living out of fear. If you compete in the steeplechase worrying if you will be hindered by a past injury, then you cannot give a total release effort towards the glorification of Christ.
    “But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!” Luke 12:5

  • Anonymous says:

    Brian,

    Thanks for being an athlete who displayed this fear of the Lord. Thanks for always working hard and displaying the character of Christ.
    I was recently involved with a wedding that included some old friends. Your name came up as we were reminiscing over some high school sports memories. The biggest thing we talked about was not your incredible game, or your 6’11 frame, or your zooming fastball that had lots of aim. What we talked about was your Christian character on and off the court and field. Thanks for knowing Christ and making Him known all the way back then.

    Thanks for being an influence in my life! Please give me a shout when you get a chance.

    I can be reached at lance@gassawaybaptist.net

    Lance Linden
    Minister of Discipleship
    Gassaway Baptist Church