This Easter remember this – He performed so you don’t have to.
We all feel the pressure to perform. We all feel the need to hit a certain standard. In all areas of our lives, not just in sport.
But in our sport, that’s where it can be seen clearest. Because the nature of sport is naturally performance driven.
Want to make the team? You’ve got to be better than those who currently are.
Want to run a PB? You’ve got to work harder, train longer than you’ve done before.
We are conditioned to perform, conditioned to measure.
We live in a data driven world now. Thousands of metrics measure just how finely tuned our bodies are, seeing just how well we are performing not only in matches but also in training.
We need to perform. We have to perform. Our careers, our weekends, are defined by how we perform.
Sport is a wonderful gift, but needing to perform all the time is exhausting.
Well do you know what? This Easter time remember He performed so you don’t have to.
Jesus came and lived on this earth, amazingly He took on this frail, broken, human flesh. And He lived His life, perfectly. He performed so you don’t have to.
Jesus came and died on this earth, amazingly He took on all the wrath of God, all of our sin. And He died, bloodily. He died so you don’t have to.
Jesus came and rose from the dead, amazingly He beat death, defeating the curse of sin, promising life everlasting. He rose and so will we!
So friend, this Easter, remember you don’t need to perform.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9
Your value, your worth does not lie in what you have done, or what you will do, on and off the sports field.
You are loved with the love seen by Jesus dying for you on the cross.
In His grace you don’t need to hit a certain mark to be saved.
In His mercy you don’t need to do anything to be forgiven.
In His outrageous love you don’t to perform to become a child of God.
Your achievements don’t define who you are.
And in your sport? Surely you still need to perform there?
Well, yes in some ways. If you stopped training, if you stopped using every ounce of talent God has gifted you with, then yes you may be dropped from the team, you maybe wouldn’t make a PB.
But also no. You’ve been conditioned to only feel good about yourself when you win. Stop it. Preach to yourself this Easter that you are loved, you are significant, you are whole, regardless of your performance.
And then run, jump, cycle, play - with joy - the wonderful sport God has given you. And live. Live a life that pleases your heavenly Father, not because you have to, but because you want to.
Live out your Christian life in the world of sport, in its ups and downs, as a place where you can grow in your faith, where you can love others, knowing that you are loved by God.
Let Him keep working in you to make you more and more like him, for His glory and your good.
This Easter, remember He performed, so you don’t have to.
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A weekly devotional for sports people