Athlete, Encourage Others on Your Way

Encourage Others on Your Way

23  “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”

Colossians 3:23 (ESV)

“In golf, you might be able to hit the ball 400 yards,” said Clint Hurdle, manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. “But it doesn’t matter (how hard you hit it) if you are not lined up correctly. The ball will go in the wrong direction.”

As in golf, he says that once he let God align him properly, his life started to go down the right fairway. He knows what his purpose is now -– to be a servant and to obey the Lord.

“Life has been amazing once I realized it was going the wrong way,” he said. “I am aligned now with Christ, and my life needs to be that of a servant.”

He is the manager of an MLB team, and he strives to make everyone’s job around him easier. He cares about his players and about the persons they are inside. He cares about the trainer of the Pirates just as much as the all-star athletes.

“I want to be a transparent leader,” he said. “I want them all to know I’m here for them, and I want them all to know about the God I serve.”

His spiritual journey has been a Christian obstacle course. “It has not been a walk in the park,” he said. Yet he acknowledged God will take care of him and his family, no matter what happens.

Today, he finds strength in the Word of God. He sends out daily inspirational devotional messages via text and email. He confides in his “Mount Rushmore” – his personal company of men he talks with twice a month.

“I have four men, and we discuss life and our walk with the Lord on a regular basis,” he said. “It’s almost like a board meeting. We help each other professionally and spiritually. You cannot walk this walk alone.”

Are you pointed in the right direction? Is there something in your life that must be either adjusted or eliminated altogether? One way to receive inspiration is to provide it to others. It will come full circle, and you will be blessed and uplifted. Only the devil will tell you that you are not important.

Here are some tips on how to become a beacon of light in a dark world:

  • Listen to a friend’s problem. The Bible tells us in James to be quick to hear and slow to speak. If you can show empathy and compassion to others, they will appreciate it, and you will earn their confidence. Take the time to pray with them at the end of your discussion.
  • Be joyful. Let those around you see your joy in the Lord. This doesn’t mean you won’t experience problems, but it means you rely on the Lord to see you through the challenges.
  • Praise. Give God the glory He deserves always. Find you own unique way to glorify the Lord and be an encouragement to those around you.

There are many reasons for you to be an encouragement to others. The best one is to share the news that Jesus Christ died and rose again in victory over sin and death to provide for us a way to live forever with Him. This is the good news offered to us all.

This is a portion of one devotion in Del Duduit’s book, “Dugout Devotions: Inspirational Hits from MLBs Best.” It is available at New Hope Publishers and Amazon

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