Athlete, Find What is Worth Contending For
Colossians 2:1 (NIV)
I want you to know how hard I am contending for you …
Some things are worth fighting for. Some aren’t.
What things in life are worth the fight to you? Which titles or crowns? Which people? Which purposes and causes? The list could grow large. Or perhaps it’s not big enough at the moment.
General Martin Dempsey, recently retired Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff and new managing director of USA Basketball, suggested a few things worth fighting for.
He shared with a small group of us his current concerns for the future of U.S. military senior leadership. He centered his remarks around three critical areas that require much contending, that must keep getting wins: competence, character, and courage.
Regarding competence, Dempsey said there must be an ever-vigilant commitment to expertise. Get to the top in knowledge and skill … and stay there!
Regarding character, Dempsey said to fight for humility. Nothing feeds the drive for excellence and expertise better than this. So make humility a character priority.
Regarding courage, express a fuller range. Don’t reduce courage to just a physical act. What needs greater accent and expression in our world today is moral courage. That’s where people need to really be courageous — in matters of morality.
Let good, righteous care drive our courage. And be immune to any coercion that stands in the way of this (especially approval, comfort, power, politics).
May the Word of God give us clear pictures of the enemies of our souls and the wisdom and moral courage to act. May our lives be known for our unrelenting competence, humble character, and moral courage.
Reflect: Does your expertise need to be sharpened up? Your humility need a boost? Your moral courage need more exercise? What one step can you take in any of these areas?
A prayer to consider: Father, I need your help contending for everything good and right. It’s tough to win without You. Grant me new competence and character wins as I humbly follow your Son. And help me be full of moral courage by your Spirit and immune to any other coercion. Amen.