At a young age we are taught to play with confidence. I remember my dad teaching me to step into the box and tell myself that the guy on the mound did not have the stuff to beat me. Positive self-talk was something that was constantly stressed to us through high school and college as well. As a Christian athlete, do we believe that this confidence and self-talk are critical in our spiritual development as well? It is a weird mix of confidence and holy humility that we need in order to properly understand our place as well as how we relate to God. The very idea of grace is something that should take our confidence and both throw it out the window as well as cause it to increase. Grace by itself tells us that we have done nothing to deserve the gift of life that we have been given, however, this gift that cost Christ His life also tells us that Christ thought enough of us, had a strong enough passion for us to, make “himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death- even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:7-8, NIV) Thus, grace should give us a supernatural confidence that trumps the confidence we are taught to give ourselves when we step into the box.
Moving forward, this confidence should give us an avenue towards our own spiritual development as well as our attitude towards the advancement of the Kingdom. By understanding our confidence that we have in Christ we should be encouraged and bold to share the life, death, and resurrection of Christ to those that do not yet know Him. Romans 1:16 says it well, Paul says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” The Gospel gives us confidence, and our self-talk goes from “I am better that the guy across from me”, to “I am nothing, but the King of the Universe loves me enough to send His Son to die for me so that I can spend an eternity with Him” as well as “because of what Christ did, I have the power to live a life that is a reflection of Christ to the world”.