Fortunately, and unfortunately, for me, I have been able to play in two of the biggest sports markets in America — Philadelphia and Chicago. As a result, I’ve experienced the best of the best fans and the hardest critics. In these environments, we have the opportunity to gain a large platform to share about social issues and do good work for the Kingdom, but we also face a lot of media, which can either inflate or deflate you, if you let it. I’ve seen the media completely ruin players’ careers, while launching others into the spotlight.
Early on, I was a fringe guy. I didn’t know if I would make a team, so I listened to all the voices and paid attention to every beat writer on social media. I let this influence my view until I realized that these aren’t the guys making the decisions. They didn’t really know what was happening. The majority of them had never played football — or any organized sport for that matter. Ultimately, I recognized that these voices were not building me up; instead, they were having a negative effect on me.
But there are voices in the league that are helpful and useful for building up. Currently, our team is going through a couples’ Bible study through the book of Luke. Here, men and women gather to dive into God’s Word and hear what it is He is wanting to teach us.
In Luke 3:10-14 we recently read, “‘What should we do then?’ the crowd asked. John answered, ‘Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.’ Even tax collectors came to be baptized. ‘Teacher,’ they asked, ‘what should we do?’ ‘Don’t collect any more than you are required to,’ he told them. Then some soldiers asked him, ‘And what should we do?’ He replied, ‘Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely — be content with your pay.’”
These things seem like common sense, don’t they? But within this crowd of people were those who were so used to sinning in these ways that they didn’t recognize these actions to be wrong. This caused me to think … what are the areas in my life that are causing me to sin? What am I doing that maybe I don’t even realize I’m doing, that’s keeping me from God?
I’m thankful I have these voices in my life to call me out when I’m in the wrong. That’s what Godly community is for. Likewise, if I’ve built a close relationship with another Christ-follower, I have no problem calling them out. We all do things that are contrary to the Bible, whether we know it or not. That’s why it’s so crucial to have people in your corner to push you to be greater — voices that are worth tuning into.
Doing good for the Kingdom of God is a choice we get to make. A mindset shift happens when we truly surrender to Christ. Instead of doing right because we feel like we have to, we seek to be Christlike and do good works because we want to. That’s the difference between nominal Christianity and a full surrendering of self to Christ.
The more obedient we become to God, the more joy we gain and the more glory He receives through us.
— Trey Burton, Chicago Bears tight end
Trey Burton is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions. Check out Trey’s Increase profile here: https://theincrease.com/author/trey-burton/
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