Athlete, Accept Yourself

Accept Yourself

7  "But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it."

Ephesians 4:7 (NIV)

You probably compare yourself to others sometimes. You have probably thought something like, “She is faster than I am, “He is bigger than me,” “She is better looking than me,” or “He is more confident than me.”

Athlete, it is a useless endeavor and waste of precious time to focus on “who you are not” instead of “who you are.”

Being jealous of the strengths and confidence of other guys has brought me grief as long as I can remember. Maybe you are like that too. Or maybe you do the opposite and think you are superior. All of us have probably done both at some point.

A woman from Taiwan told me many Japanese women go to Taiwan to have plastic surgery because of their renowned surgeons and surgical centers. She said they want Western features, like pronounced noses, curves, blond hair and pale skin.

She said, “Many Easterners do not want Eastern features such as flat faces, thin bodies, dark hair and dark skin.”

Eastern or Western, ancient or modern, we tend to want what we do not have. Our uniqueness should make us humble and grateful, but it often makes us covetous and discontent.

We tend to want to be who we are not in the body of Christ and in sports too. We want to be a foot but we are a hand. We want to be a point guard but we are a center.

It would be disastrous if everyone in the body of Christ were a foot, or if everyone on a basketball team were a point guard. We need all the body parts in the church. We need all the positions on a team.

Some are taller. Some are stronger. Some have better arm speed, some have better foot speed. Some have this, others have that. There are things we are, there are things we are not.

It would be absurd if LeBron James sulked because he does not have Steph Curry’s game. It would be insane for Mike Trout to lose sleep over the fact he is not more like Clayton Kershaw.

If LeBron James and Mike Trout did that, they would stifle their uniqueness. It would be like them saying to God, “Who You made me is not who I want to be.”

Athlete, we have been called to be who we are. We have not been called to be who we are not.

Accept yourself as Christ has accepted you. Move from self-rejection to self-acceptance. Accept who God says you are, His beloved child, cherished like an earthly parent cherishes his or her child.

Too low of an opinion of yourself expresses a low opinion of the person, work and promises of the Redeemer (Anglican clergyman John Newton). God calls you to be kind to people, and that includes you.

Write down three ways God has created and gifted you for the sake of His kingdom.

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