We talked with New York Jets left tackle Kelvin Beachum about his faith journey, how he’s living in the increase of Christ, and the mentors who have impacted his life. Here’s what he had to say:
What effect does your faith have on your lifestyle?
Your faith and who you choose to be are one in the same. You cannot have one without the other. My faith is my lifestyle. Faith will always influence your lifestyle because it shapes what you do on a daily basis. It’s how you live, move and have your being. When you walk in communion with God, people will see your faith permeating every aspect of your lifestyle.
Everyone has their vices. When your faith isn’t as strong as it should be, that trickles into your actions. By the lifestyle of a person, you see how they treat people, how they talk to others, what they eat, their demeanor, etc. All of this is effected by their faith.
I see faith as a gas tank. When it’s full, you’re able to thrive and blaze a whole new trail for your life. When it’s on empty, you don’t have enough substance to pull from. When it’s empty, you can easily falter.
Describe how your journey with Christ began.
I was exposed to Christ at a very young age. My grandfather is a pastor, my father is his assistant pastor, my mom is a missionary, and my relatives are highly involved in ministry. I grew up knowing who God was, who the Holy Spirit was, and who Christ was. I knew what it looked like to have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you, but my own personal relationship with Christ became much more personal when I went off to college and was on my own for the first time.
Early on in my college career, I made choices that were not of God. I was a sinner; I knew I was a sinner. On Thursday nights, I lived in sin and no one knew of it besides me and God. But Thursdays were always followed by Sundays, when I would go to church and ask for repentance.
During my second year of college, I started to get to know Christ for myself. I began to understand what repentance and redemption meant, and even experienced it for myself. I began to experience the forgiveness and grace of God. My momma couldn’t do it for me anymore. Suddenly my faith in Christ became authentic; it became a part of who I am. I wasn’t going to lean on what I had heard growing up anymore. Finally I had truly become one with Christ.
Who have been the mentors in your life? How did God bring these people into your life?
My grandparents (both sets) and my parents have been spiritual rocks for me from day one. When I went off to college, pastors Joe Martin and Jim Barnett were huge for me. The Assistant Athletic Director for Business Development at SMU, Kris Lowe, was also really influential for me. The two of us used to meet in his office or at the bakery across the street and go through Tony Evans’ book “No More Excuses” together. Then there was Pastor Corby Bush from Great Harvest Church in Dallas, Texas, who was a powerful resource for me. On campus I also had many mentors and peers I grew with from our FCA group.
Everywhere I’ve been, God has provided amazing spiritual mentors and men of faith to have conversations with, grow with, and conduct Bible studies with to grow deeper in our knowledge of God.
What does the Increase of Christ mean to you?
When I think about the Increase of Christ, I think of John 3:30 but I also think of 1 Peter 5:6 which says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.”
I wrote this verse on my whiteboard in my office and every time I walk in I recite it. These two verses talk about the humility required to allow Christ to increase and ourselves to decrease. We need to be subjective to God and His laws, to Christ and His grace, and to the Holy Spirit in His leading. We have been given free will, but we need to make the right decisions so that God will be elevated in our lives. It’s not about us, it’s about His glory. It’s not about us, it’s about His Word being fulfilled. It’s not about us, it’s about His name being made known throughout the world. In order to do that, we need to take a back seat and allow God to be the driver. But this is a daily choice we have to make.
What is your life verse and why?
I’ve been reading Ecclesiastes 3:1-10 for a long time now. This passage talks about the times and seasons in our lives and when I think about these moments and how God orchestrates them, I see that there is a reason for everything that happens. There is a time to be born, a time to die, a time to work, a time to play. This is my life verse and I read it religiously. I read it each time I enter a stadium, before I play a game. I take a seat where I will be during the game (on the left side of the bench as a left tackle) and I remind myself of God’s hand in this season.
This verse sets the stage for what life is, what God has done for me, and how He’s orchestrating my life. Life is made of seasons. I have experienced ones of humility and ones of elevation, but it’s all according to His time and purpose. At the end of the day, it’s all about Him.
— Kelvin Beachum, New York Jets left tackle
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