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We Before Me: A Lesson in Humility

Updated: Feb 23, 2023

Creating a culture of selflessness and sacrifice for the team's betterment can be a tremendous challenge for college coaches. One way to help foster this mindset is by referencing biblical scripture, which touches on humility, compassion, and living with an attitude of service. Coaches can encourage athletes to put their needs and wants aside to serve others or contribute to the greater good. They can also use examples from Bible stories or religious teachings that emphasize self-sacrifice in service of something else. Finally, they could facilitate discussions amongst players on how best to create a culture where individual desires are subordinated in favor of collective effort and success.

This post highlights four specific verses applicable to our lives as student-athletes and coaches:

1. Galatians 6:2

2. Philippians 2:3

3. Mark 10:45

4. Hebrews 10:24

Galatians 6:2 states, "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Bearing each other's burdens means being willing to offer support during difficult times and sacrificing our desires for the benefit of someone else - a timeless act of kindness that can bring joy into both parties' lives. This verse encourages selflessness and humility by emphasizing helping others without expecting anything in return. It speaks to our need to put humanity first and help those around us instead of worrying only about our own needs. By opening ourselves up to service, we demonstrate love, compassion, and respect for all people regardless of differences or backgrounds. Through humility, we accept that no matter how much knowledge or success we have achieved in life, there is always more yet to be learned from others if we are open to it.

Philippians 2:3 states, "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves." This verse encourages college athletes to prioritize the needs of their teammates and coaches over their own desires. It speaks to our need to put relationships first and invest in them by putting forth a selfless effort for the betterment of all involved. By focusing on others' successes we demonstrate values like loyalty, respect and integrity that will benefit us throughout our lives. Through humility, we accept that although there may be times when individual recognition is deserved or necessary, it is always within the context of team success that true greatness can be realized. Counting others more significant means being willing to give up personal glory for the greater good - an example that extends far beyond athletics into every other aspect of life.

Mark 10:45 states, "For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." This verse helps ground us in humility and reminds us of our place in the world relative to God. It speaks to our need to place our trust in God while also recognizing that we must actively strive towards serving others instead of selfishly seeking glory for ourselves. By accepting Jesus Christ's example, we demonstrate love, grace, and sacrifice that will enrich us and those around us. Through humility, we accept that although it is natural for humans to falter or feel inadequate at times, no matter what mistakes may be made, all can experience redemption through faithfulness if we are open to it. Giving up one's own life presents an ultimate act of service - something which should bring perspective when dealing with everyday matters such as self-image or worldly achievements both large and small.

Hebrews 10:24 states, "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works." This verse encourages us to invest in the lives of others as we mature through different stages of life. It speaks to our need to prioritize building relationships with those around us while actively striving to influence them positively. Investing in others demonstrates values like kindness, respect, and integrity that will benefit us and those around us throughout our lifetime. Through humility, we accept that although it is natural for humans to be self-centered at times, if we are open-minded about loving God and serving others, we can find purpose beyond our desires or expectations. Stirring up one another's hearts presents an act of service that grows more relatable as life progresses - something that reminds us how interconnected human experience is no matter where our stage in life may be.

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