"Even when you aren't playing well you can still play hard. We lost the game, but we didn't lose our identity. On to the next..."
- Tracy Smith (Arizona State University baseball head coach)
The quote above is exactly the way that it should be as Christians, whether it's in sports or our daily lives. When things are not looking good, when we make mistakes, that should never give us an excuse to roll over or to quit. Instead, it should be a time when we do not lose hope, we do not lose our identity. We should dive deeper and continue to work,
giving it everything we have.
A little context into Tracy Smith's quote, it came on March 23rd right after they lost their first game of the 2019 season. ASU was a remarkable 20-0 before that. That is an insane mark for baseball. After such a run, no one would bat an eye if they thought oh well, we have to lose some time and give up hope as soon as they started losing deep into the ball game. But no, ASU fought back and sent the game to extra innings before losing on a walk-off home run in extra innings. Despite the loss, ASU knew who they were, they knew their program and they knew their role on their team. This is what it is all about. The key to competing Biblically is building a strong foundation. Our values cannot be conditionally based. No matter the score, no matter the circumstance, you must have the same value and work ethic.
In this life we will have many failures, pains, and struggles. But Jesus says in John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” The last line in that is so good, Jesus says "take heart" He has already overcome the world. So why compromise your identity when things get hard? As Christians, our energy, our moods, should be the same whether we go 0-4 or 4-4, whether we throw 3 touchdowns or 3 interceptions. Our PURPOSE in this life in GREATER than our success. No matter the outcome of the situation, we need to stick to our identity and give 110% to what we are doing.
Colossians 3:23 says Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters," You are not out on the field to make mom and dad proud or your coach happy. You are out there to honor God. God does not care about the final score, he cares that you give it everything you have and be a light to those around you.
I want you to remember this the next time you step out on that field or step into work, your purpose for being there is greater than your success. That doesn't mean don't strive for success. God calls us to do our very best. It means don't sacrifice your identity when the going gets tough, put your head down and compete, give everything you have to be the solution for the Glory of God. Never give up, never quit.
I pray that everyone reading this will be just as touched by this truth as I am writing this. We look forward to continuing this journey with you. Please spread the word about this weekly devotional and press share below as we try to impact those around us.