In college athletics, commitment, sacrifice, and dedication are fundamental. These values are not only essential for success in sports but also resonate with Biblical teachings. Two passages, Luke 14:28-35 and 1 Corinthians 4:2 provide significant insights that can guide Christian coaches and athletes.
Luke 14:28-35 presents two parables from Jesus, emphasizing the importance of counting the cost before undertaking any significant endeavor. The first parable tells of a builder who must consider if he has enough resources to finish a tower before starting. The second is about a king contemplating whether he can win a war against another king with fewer soldiers. Jesus contends that anyone who wants to be his disciple must consider the cost and be willing to give up everything. He further illustrates this point with the metaphor of salt, stating that if it loses its saltiness, it's useless, just like a disciple who isn't fully committed.
Applying this to college athletics, athletes must fully understand and commit to the demands of their sport. They should consider the time, effort, and sacrifices required to excel before committing. If an athlete loses their "saltiness" or passion, they may not perform at their best, like a disciple who isn't fully committed.
1 Corinthians 4:2 complements this message, stating, "Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful." Athletes, blessed with abilities and opportunities, must prove faithful by fully committing to their sport, training hard, and representing their team and school with integrity.
These passages highlight the importance of not only considering the cost of commitment but also faithfully following through with it. They highlight the significance of dedication, commitment, and faithfulness in one's endeavors, whether following Jesus or pursuing excellence in athletics. Nowadays, it's increasingly prevalent for athletes to give up when faced with challenges or circumstances that don't align with their expectations.
As Christian coaches, we can use these teachings to inspire our athletes to commit fully, train hard, and play with integrity. Let's remind them of the biblical examples of Abraham, Paul, and Jesus, who counted the cost and sacrificed everything. Let's encourage them to keep their "saltiness," maintain their passion and dedication, and prove faithful in the trust they've been given. In doing so, we'll not only help them succeed in their sport but also guide them in their walk with Christ.