Covid-19 gave sportspeople a time to rest and reflect on what has been. It was a time to let our bodies recover and our passion for our sport grow again, to take our foot off the gas from the intensity of sport. Yet a danger comes when we do the same with our faith and our willingness to share Jesus with our sports friends. As a Christian, how do we best approach the times when your sport stops for the off season or because of things like Covid-19?
1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
In this final chapter of Paul’s letter to Timothy, he reminds him that he lives under the gaze of God and Christ. That it is Christ who holds him to account and who will certainly return, and this is the ultimate reality that Timothy should be concerned with.
The charge to keep preaching the Word, even when we don’t feel like it or when we feel like we are on a ‘break’, is the same today as it was for Timothy. We need to be ready and willing at all times because Christ is coming!
3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
Itching ears indicates the desire to use Biblical teaching in order to justify behavioural choices. Rather, we should allow the Bible to shape how we choose to live. It is important that, in our off-seasons, we are careful who we listen to and what we do.
The people of sport are surrounded by all kinds of philosophies and theories on life, happiness and success. Our role is to point them to the truth in Jesus.
5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
Paul urges Timothy not to get distracted from the mission of telling people the Good News about Jesus Christ. Rather, he is to stay focused on what he is called to do.
When you next face a break in your sport, don’t rest from your faith and your mission to share Jesus with sportspeople. How can you intentionally share life and the gospel with sportspeople even when you aren’t seeing them so regularly?
As a group think through ways you can share life with your sports friends during this off- season.
All Bible quotations are taken with permission from the NIV:
Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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