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Being Set Apart

Updated: Feb 17, 2023

Being a college athlete is an advantageous experience, as they get to pursue both athletic and academic excellence simultaneously. As a college athlete, one must be able to manage multiple responsibilities such as following practice and game schedules, maintaining good grades, and finding ways to stay fit and healthy. Additionally, being a college athlete means having the chance to represent their school or team on a national level by competing against other universities or teams. This can mean traveling for away games or participating in tournaments that are broadcasted live around the world. It also means striving for individual excellence while still upholding values of sportsmanship like fairness, respect for one's opponents, integrity when playing by the game's rules, etc. Ultimately, it comes down to balancing all these different aspects while understanding that success is not measured solely by wins but rather by the experiences gained along the way—which can be just as valuable, if not more so than any victory achieved on the field (trust the process).

Romans 12:2 states that believers should no longer conform to the pattern of this world but instead be transformed by renewing their minds. In other words, God's people are called to think differently than those in our culture and live according to His standards rather than society's expectations. This means they should strive for excellence in all areas, living a life of integrity and holiness before Him.

College athletes face unique challenges when setting themselves apart from their peers. As both student-athletes aiming for success in academics as well as competing at a high level athletically, these individuals often have different responsibilities than non-athlete students—such as having less free time or following more regimented schedules—and may feel pressured into making difficult decisions about balancing schoolwork with athletics that could compromise their values or morals if not handled cautiously. They often feel a sense of pressure to uphold faith-based values and remain good examples to their teams, schools, and communities. This can be an overwhelming burden as they work hard to live up to the expectations that come with such high standards while still managing the pressures of academics and athletic performance. On top of this, there is also the fear of not being accepted or welcomed by their peers if they do not meet specific criteria or have certain beliefs.

The need for athletes to set themselves apart positively has led many to take on roles as leaders in athletics and faith-based activities like FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), conduct campus chapel services, and host Bible studies. They strive to exemplify biblical principles like honesty, humility, respect for others, integrity, and selflessness as part of what it means to be a beacon for Christ in all aspects of their lives – from sports success off the field/court/mat -to demonstrating godly character on it – even when no one is watching.

The Bible commands us (1 Peter 2:9) to "live such good lives among [the] unbelievers" so that even though we may look like them on the outside, our inside is filled with goodness because of Christ working within us. College athletes can use moments where they feel tempted by worldly standards as chances for growth through prayerful dependence on Christ and allow Him to guide them through difficult times while still honoring Him in whatever they do while representing their schools academically and athletically.

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