Athlete, You Need A New Mind


Athlete, You Need A New Mind

Phillip Kelley

Romans 12:2 (NASB)

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

As an NFL chaplain, people assume I have everything together. Haha. Riiigghht. I’m in just as desperate need of grace as everyone else. There was a time a few years ago that I was in a serious funk, a real depression, a life in quicksand. I didn’t want to get out of bed, and yet I was pastoring the largest church in our area. Not good.

I reached out to a Christian counselor, and at our first meeting he challenged me to take every thought captive, and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). In doing so, he had me write down on a yellow legal pad all the lies that I believed. I wasn’t sure at first, but once the pen started writing, the honesty started flowing.

You suck.
You’re not as good as your predecessor.
You’re a terrible leader.
No one follows you.
You should quit.
You (bleeping) worthless piece of (bleep).

Tears smudged the page. I was speechless. All of that was inside of me – buried. I was listening to these voices that barraged my mind like 1,000 arrows from the enemy, blotting out the noonday sun.

What my counselor had me do next set me on a six-month trajectory to freedom. He said, “Okay, your homework is to look through Scripture and combat those lies with the truth from God’s Word. What does God say about you?”

That homework became a hall pass to freedom.

I have never looked back.

Athlete, your mind is probably filled with similar junk. You can hear 1,000 compliments, but you focus on that one Twitter comment. Don’t you? But the Bible enters our mind-field and announces our need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).

What lies are you believing? Are your thoughts filled with shame? Regret? Worthlessness?

As someone who is along the journey with you, I want to challenge you to get out the pen and paper. On the left side, write down the lies you’re believing. Don’t filter. Just write. On the right side, do your biblical homework and write down what God’s Word says about you.

Consider yourself challenged.

Consider yourself changed.


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