Athlete, These Will Make You Shake Your Head

PLAYBOOK DEVOTIONAL

Athlete, These Will Make You Shake Your Head

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Morris Michalski

Galatians 6:2-5 (NIV)

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.

The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates fed people more than a few famous lines. This one is perhaps his best: “Know thyself.“

It begs the question, “How well do I know myself?” Am I accurate in my assessment? How do I actually know?

If you’re in sport, going to the film sure helps. It doesn’t lie. True? Hopefully neither do the skillful observers that surround us, watching us and our film.

But there’s a little more to getting a full picture of self. Here are six stunning lines from God’s Word that will make you SMH (Shake My Head)! They speak truth, shed real light, and help us evaluate self.

  1. I AM LESS THAN I THINK (Galatians 6:3). The Bible says, “Don’t be deceived,” “Don’t live puffed up,” “Walk in humility.”  Being less is OK. 

“He must increase and I must decrease” (John 3:30). It may be best to keep reminding myself of these biblical metaphors: I’m a sheep, I’m clay, I am dust. I exist to serve (Romans 12:3, 1 Corinthians 10:12).

  1. I AM MORE THAN I THINK. The Bible says that I am made in the image of God and for His glory. And it says that, as a Christian, I am a child of the Light, a son of a King, completely forgiven in Christ, a royal ambassador and part of a royal priesthood. 

What nobility! What lifting truth! Thus, my playing small does not serve me well nor lift the world. I am meant for more. Let my life shine (Ephesians 1:1-23, Ephesians 5:8; Romans 8:1; 1 Peter 2:9; 2 Corinthians 5:20).

  1. COMPARISON DOESN’T WORK (Galatians 6:4). Not the kind of comparison that tries to spot folks lower on some goodness ladder so as to make me feel better about my elevation. 

Stop trying. It doesn’t get me into heaven, and it won’t get me far in life without a big breakdown. It deceives. It destroys. It certainly feeds racism. It often overfeeds pride.

And comparison can certainly bring disappointment, despair and even depression. Steer clear of comparison. It’s a killer, a turnover waiting to happen.

  1. COMPARISON WORKS. When I compare my performance to my potential, clarity comes, growth has a chance, and wins await.

When I compare myself to Christ and make Him the gold standard I chase and seek to imitate, the chase gets beautiful. Being conformed to Christ’s image is God’s game plan for my life (Romans 8:29).

  1. MY LOAD IS MINE (Galatians 6:5). Accept responsibility. As full and far as you can go. Be responsible for self, to self; before others and to God too. 

Make it your noble mission. Don’t slip into a mode of expecting others to do for you what you should do for yourself.

And don’t slip into pity over the load you carry. Find the noble purpose. Find the lesson. Own the load.

  1. YOUR LOAD IS MINE (Galatians 6:2) See another’s need. Share this load too. Accept responsibility for more than just yourself. That defines a person. Bear another’s burdens. 

Love your neighbor as yourself. This is part of my load management in life too. This is the mandate for all who follow Christ. Rejoice in this kind of living. It is so fulfilling. Greatness is born here (Mark 10:43).

Reflect: Which of the Big Six did your heart and mind need to hear? What could you do to get to know yourself better today? Who else needs some self awareness help and prayer that you could help with?

A prayer to consider: LORD and Master, take a good look at me and tell me what You see. I may need a greater sense of nobility or more humility. By Your Spirit, keep making me like Jesus and don’t let me play any other comparison games. 

Help me with my load management to carry just what I need to.  I’m trusting You. I’m counting on You. Your film doesn’t lie and your love for me is strong! Amen.

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