24 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”
Hebrews 10:24 (NIV)
Athlete, you have an advantage. You have learned things in your athletic pursuits that easily apply to following Jesus.
For instance, you know teamwork. You know what it is like to have teammates and to be a teammate to others. You know the encouragement, support, challenge and accountability that pushes a team to excel.
You know the impact of a teammate who won’t let you quit. You know the sense of responsibility to the team that keeps you in the game. You run with teammates who push your game to a higher level than you would achieve alone.
PGA golfers slug it out alone week after week on tour. When the Ryder Cup rolls around every two years, players will give anything to become part of the 12-man team.
The coaches, the players and the crowd all sense a different atmosphere and a different level of competition from a team than they see with individuals at the typical weekend tournament.
The writer of Hebrews encouraged his audience – “spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” This charge to Christ-followers is about motivating each other to excel in Christ-like behavior toward others.
I grew up on an Iowa farm in the 1950s and ‘60s. We didn’t have much, but we had horses and plenty of country. Three brothers could spend many a summer day competing on horseback in everything from races to games.
When our horses got a little tired, they turned into loafers. Then we discovered spurs. Our spurs were too dull to hurt a horse, but the gentle touch between a couple of their ribs let them know it was time to get moving.
You know the value of teammates who spur you on. The same is crucial in following Christ. Are you connected to Christian friends with spurs? Take what you know is true from your teamwork on the field or court and apply it to following Christ together.