Athlete, Pay Attention to These Eight
2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV)
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What do you know about the number eight? Here’s a little about my experience with that number (though I never wore it … yet!):
- V8 is a great highway engine and one of my favorite beverages.
- Eight is the max number of points scored for a football touchdown.
- Baseball’s “Iron Man,” Cal Ripken Jr., wore #8 … for 2,632 consecutive games.
- Kobe Bryant did too. (His retired #8 jersey is the first time that number has been retired in NBA history.)
- The Bible says to make every effort to add eight things to our lives. God says it will be so well worth it.
Let’s pause on that last bullet. Of all the ways we could devote our time and attention, the One who made us all identifies the eight areas where some of our greatest wins await.
WHAT ARE THE BIG EIGHT?
Here’s they are:
FAITH: Start here. Believe God’s game plan for life. Trust His treasure chest of promises. Develop that muscle. Bulk up on faith, in faith. But don’t stop here.
GOODNESS: Build solid character. Champion the good. Be what’s right. Do what’s right. Let moral excellence crown each day.
KNOWLEDGE: Gain spiritual understanding. “Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible,” (Coach John Wooden). Know God’s Word. Don’t just have a Bible. Study it. Make it yours.
SELF CONTROL” Be great at saying “No” to yourself.
PERSEVERANCE: Let steadfastness and endurance find their steady home in you. Be great at holding on, Finishing what you start, just like Jesus.
GODLINESS: Reserve awe for God. Fill with wonder. Respect and honor all He sets before us.
BROTHERLY AFFECTION: Give it. Receive it. Every day. Give a meaningful touch. Practice kindness. Express brotherly affection.
LOVE: Always end here. Make love the bottom line. Not fame. Not fortune. Add love. Spread love … selfless, sacrificial love.
IF WE DON’T ADD THESE EIGHT …
God says we are no better than blind men. We will stumble all over the place. We won’t “see what’s right before us, oblivious that our old sinful life has been wiped off the books“ (2 Peter 1:9).
IF WE DO ADD THESE EIGHT …
We will be kept from being ineffective and unproductive. “No grass will grow under our feet, no day will pass without its reward as we mature in our experience of our Master Jesus.“ Never falling and a rich Kingdom welcome awaits those who do. (2 Peter 1:8,10).
Reflect: So what’s your experience like with these eight? Are you making every effort to grow them? Which might need better prioritizing?
A prayer to consider: LORD, thank You for defining these eight and setting me up for solid wins in life. Help me to make every effort to grow each one by Your Spirit, for Your glory.
What an honor it is to play like You, play for You, O Jesus. Amen.