Jesus said to him, “’You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with
all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest of the Laws.
The second is like it, ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’
– Matthew 22:37-39 (NLV)
I don’t know a single coach or athlete that doesn’t want to win. Everyone wants to win, but many don’t know where to start and even more aren’t willing to do what it takes to get there. Over the centuries, millions of words have been written on leadership, winning, and success, yet the formula for winning remains elusive. “Work smarter, not harder”, someone says. “Winners are simply willing to do what losers won’t”, says another. Locker rooms around the world are filled with slogans and quotes intended to inspire athletes with the will to win. What’s the secret? where does the will to win come from? Tom Chappell, American businessman, has this to say, “Never let the competition define you. Instead, you have to define yourself based on a point of view you care deeply about.” In my experience, two things are critical in achieving success in every arena of life. One is passion and the other is teamwork. Give me a group of individuals with a passion and willingness to work together and we can win!
The idea of playing with passion and as a team is nothing new. Jesus presented the idea when he was asked to answer this question, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” In the world of athletics, it would sound something like this, “Coach, what is the key to winning?” The Master Coach replies that we must love God with every fiber of our being. That kind of commitment requires passion all day, every day. Jesus wants us to be “all in”! He wants us to “bring it” every play! But there’s more, Jesus says there’s another piece to the puzzle of winning in life. We’ve got to love others as much as we love ourselves. He knew that “we” is more important than “me”! Jesus knew that winning is much more meaningful when we have the opportunity to share it with others. He understood the value and the joy that comes through playing as a team. No magic formula, no great mystery, winning requires passion and teamwork.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Living Word. Fill me with a passion to serve You in everything I do. Teach me the value of sharing life with others as I strive to be a winner in Your eyes. Amen.