6 "Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth."
1 Corinthians 13:6 (NIV)
If we are to express our love for others by celebrating truth, we must first identify truth and where we are to find it.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me’” John 14:6 (NASB). And He also prays to the Father for His disciples, saying, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” John 17:17.
So Jesus is our model of truth, and God’s Word is our tutor. As our relationship with the Lord grows and our knowledge of the Word deepens, our understanding of truth should also grow.
The problem is, we have an adversary.
“The devil … was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him ... for he is a liar and the father of lies” John 8:44 (NIV).
The enemy of our souls is out to destroy us with lies. For this reason, we need to unearth the lies we unwittingly believe and continually replace those lies with God’s truth that is revealed in and through Jesus and the Word.
Athlete, what lies are you believing?
Lie: I need man’s acceptance, love or approval for success! Truth: Christ alone is my identity — Ephesians 2:8,9.
Lie: I must win to be worthy! Truth: Jesus in me makes me worthy — Colossians 1:27.
Lie: I need to perform well to be loved by God! Truth: God loves me just the way I am — Romans 5:8.
Lie: I will never be good enough, smart enough, pretty enough … Truth: God looks at my heart — 1 Samuel 16:7.
Lie: I am alone! Truth: God is always with me — Hebrews 13:5,6.
These are a few of the lies that I’ve identified in my own life that I have to deal with constantly. But I would encourage you to give some thought to any specific lies (“fiery darts”) that you are most prone to allow to penetrate your shield of faith.
If you struggle with lies, then your teammates and even your coaches must also be struggling with lies, and the way you relate to others can actually perpetuate those lies in their lives.
As athletes, you are taught to emphasize winning, to train relentlessly to perform well, to be independent, and to strive for success in everything! These goals are not necessarily bad except when they erode the truth.
Let’s know the truth and walk in it daily!
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” John 8:32 (ESV). Amen!
A prayer to consider: Lord, show me truth and set me free!