As the year comes to an end, many people start formulating resolutions and goals for the year to come. Many vow to cut down on their soda or sweets habit, drink more water, or otherwise seek to become a physically healthier individual. But spiritual health, which is not a tangible thing like physical health, should be viewed with a similar importance. To help you get started, here are three suggestions for 2020 goals:
"I want to become an athlete of influence!"
Find your voice to utilize the platform you’ve been given
Paul writes in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes...” When you’re the only Christ-follower on your team, in your family or in your circle of friends, it can feel like you’re operating outside your comfort zone to talk freely about your belief for fear that you’ll be judged.
However, it's important to remember that the gospel is meant to be shared. During this time of year, some people are stepping foot in a church for the first time, or their interest is piqued, and by making it known that you are a Christian, you can open the doors for them to come talk to you.
Especially for those who have a sizable platform within the public eye, sharing the word of the Lord extends beyond just your network. Showing that you’re not ashamed to share your faith when you’re in the spotlight can inspire others to do the same within the context of their everyday lives.
Invest in others through servant leadership
In the gospel of Mark, it says: "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). There are many times throughout the Bible where Jesus served others. The Lord’s actions showcase the epitome of servant leadership, and while you’re not likely going to wash the feet of your teammates as Jesus did for His disciples, you can show servant leadership in other ways. It can be something as simple as offering a listening ear when they’re carrying some type of burden, or bringing them food when they’re sick or feeling overwhelmed.
Learn to be graceful in defeat (and victory)
Jeremiah 29:11 says “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Bringing this mindset into your games, meets and matches can help ease the pain of defeat. That’s not to say that losing is easy, but when you remember that God has a bigger plan for you, it helps remind you that one loss is ultimately insignificant and that He has a plan for you that far surpasses one loss. On the flip side, the same goes for victory. Acting gracefully in both victory and defeat is most certainly a challenge, especially when a large part of your identity is tied to your sport, but just remember, you were made for so much more than just that one event.
Hopefully these three ideas can help guide you as you select your 2020 resolutions. Since these resolutions are not easily measured, it can help to find a teammate, family member or friend to join you — having an accountability buddy can make all the difference!