Athlete, You Are a Letter from Christ
2 Corinthians 3:3 (ESV)
And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
Letters aren’t the same thing today that they were before the arrival of the internet, email, texting and the like. For most of human history, the letter was the only alternative to communicating face-to-face.
Think about that. Up until the first telegraph sent by Ralph Morse in 1844, written communication had to somehow be physically delivered. Now we can digitally deliver messages to millions of people around the world in seconds.
It could be said that the ease with which we communicate to enormous groups of people we may or may not even know, somehow diminishes the significance of what we’re saying. In other words, the glut of messages we send has eroded the substance often contained in those messages.
With that startling reality in mind, consider how you feel when someone takes the time and effort to send you a handwritten note.
Sure, they could have sent the same information digitally in a fraction of the time, but they chose to craft a message to you that screams, “This is personal!” They created it with pen and paper; it is tangible, concrete.
Their handwriting is unique in style, endowed with a personality you can recognize. It’s a little like having them in the room with you though they may be hundreds of miles away.
About 2000 years ago, the apostle Paul sent a letter to one of the churches he planted, to offer much needed guidance and encouragement.
Of all the churches mentioned in the New Testament, the Corinthian Church was among the roughest. They were struggling, it seems, in every conceivable way.
Yet Paul said something astounding to those young believers. “… you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:3).
From God’s perspective, writing on stone (or papyrus “paper”) was a little bit like sending a message through email.
But to make His gospel messages as personal and concrete as they could be, He inscribed the contents of His heart for humanity on the people who entrusted themselves to Him by grace, through faith, for the forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life.
Christian athlete, you are a personal love letter from the living God, sent to the people you know as a result of playing the sport you enjoy.
I know it can be uncomfortable, but let those people read the unfolding story of your journey with Christ. Some of it won’t be pretty, but all of it will ultimately testify to His goodness.