Athlete, Know What is Important to You

Know What is Important to You

19  “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”

Romans 5:19 (ESV)

“I just want to encourage the guys I meet in this game and let them know they can stay strong in their faith,” Albert Pujols said. “Never lose your relationship with God.”

When runners make it to first base against the Angels, they hear a question from the three-time National League MVP.

“What is the most important thing in life?” he asks.

Some reply that God is a priority while others mention family, and some don’t even know what to say. How would you respond if the two-time World Series champion posed this question to you?

For Albert, he feels his job as a Christian is to challenge everyone he meets, especially at first base where he spends a great deal of his time. He has played professional baseball since 2001 with his first 11 years at St. Louis and the past seven in LA.

“I use this as my platform to elevate the name of Jesus Christ,” he said. “Some have TV, and some have radio and a pulpit -- I use the baseball field.”

Let’s say you take your 10-year-old son fishing. You find a nice shady spot and settle in for a relaxing day. It’s just the two of you.

Then you see the bobber go up and down and you get all excited. “Hook him, hook him,” you instruct your son. “Give him some line and now reel,” you continue.

Finally, your boy brings in the bluegill. You hold up the fish, celebrate and take pictures.

It’s the first catch of the day. You slowly put it back in the water. Then your son asks you out of nowhere, “Dad, what’s the most important thing in life?”

What will your answer be? Here are ways to address the question.

  • Make sure you are filled with the Spirit of God and are in a right relationship with Him before you share your testimony with others.
  • Seek and pray for opportunities. Don’t force your beliefs on others. Simply pray for an opening to present itself, and it will. God may choose a time that catches you off guard, so always be prepared.
  • Be genuine. As a quote often attributed to Teddy Roosevelt says, “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” Be real, humble, authentic and honest.

It is our job to show everyone the love of God, as Albert said. You may not earn a World Series ring in your lifetime, but you can receive a jewel in your crown when you get to heaven by sharing the good news of Christ.

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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