“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” — 1 Corinthians 13:13
It takes faith to wake up each day with gratitude in my heart. It’s this faith — faith in Jesus Christ and His work in my life — that allows me to look at where I am at in life today and see how God has orchestrated my life with His purpose. When I see where God has brought me in life, it always seems to be bigger and better than I could have ever imagined for myself.
And yet, there are definitely areas in my life where I want to grow, and places I want to get to. I’ve always been an ambitious guy — a smaller kid who wanted to play sports at a high level. God has always given me a great faith to do the things I knew I could do, even if others didn’t believe. Whatever God has put on my heart, I have faith that He can do it through me. I have to go out to live it and believe that it’s going to happen. I know God is going to be with me if it is His will. And if it’s His will, it is even better than whatever I may have had in mind. I can’t see God or the future plan He has, but I always believe in Him. That’s faith.
As an athlete, you don’t want to play with the mindset of “I hope I win.” From a sports psychologist standpoint, that’s not going to get you very far. You want to be convicted that you’re going to win. But from a spiritual standpoint, hope is an extension of faith. “Hope” to me is believing that God can make right or do His will better than I can. When it comes to something like an election, I can be hopeful that God’s will will be done. I can hope that His will impacts our people so we can be drawn closer to Him as a nation. As I wait and hope for God to answer our prayers according to His will for a certain circumstance, I can have faith that His plan will be accomplished.
But love trumps all. Love is undefeated. If I can at least exercise love to God, others and myself every day, that would be enough. I am not a father yet, but I imagine there is going to be a time when discipline is on the menu and I can’t just treat my kids with love. Still, even discipline needs to come from a place of love in order to get the right result. God calls us to love God and love our neighbors. “Love” is the word I try to think about on a daily basis. If I bring that as a bare minimum to whomever I’m with, I know God is going to show up in that space. But in order to treat others with God’s love, I need to know and experience it for myself. The closer I can be to God, the better I can spread His love the way He wants me to.
You can have faith and you can restore hope, but love is an action. Love is the character of God Himself. You always have it and there’s never too much of it. The more I get to know God and ask for His forgiveness on a daily basis, the more I understand how great His love is and how undeserving I am of it. Love is who God is. It’s always there and always ready for you to act on. That is why this is the greatest commandment.
— Nate Augspurger, USA Rugby and San Diego Legion player
Nate Augspurger is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Nate’s Increase profile here.
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