Confidence! That is a huge attribute in athletics.
“Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I'll show you a guy you can beat every time.” -Lou Brock
"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way." -George Herman "Babe" Ruth
"Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it." -Stan Smith
“Self-trust is the essence of heroism.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” -Elbert Hubbard
“I’ve never been afraid to fail.” –Michael Jordan
Why all of this talk of “confidence” and “not being afraid to fail”? As always it stems from things I see in the sports world that mirror needs in our spiritual lives.
One story involved 21-yr-old Rory MceIlroy who was leading The Masters golf tournament going into the final day only to shoot the worst round of the day and finish way back in the pack. Obviously he did not fare to well under the pressure. And in golf one must forget his last shot and move on…much like a 3-point shooter in basketball must have a short memory.
I am sure that Rory McIlroy is very confident in his golf swing. Yet I am curious if fear of failure got the best of him - the old problem of playing “not to lose” instead of “playing to win.” There is a big difference there. There is a big difference between (knowing I can hit that shot or make that play) and (fully expecting to hit that shot or make that play.) A truly confident athlete is surprised or even shocked to miss.
When playing not to lose a player tends to come up out of his stance just a bit and lose a little edge. A player starts to think about consequences of missing. A player tightens up and/or pulls up and becomes passive.
I truly believe that one of the reasons for our passivity in the church is our lack of confidence. I know we teach and share about the forgiveness and completeness found in Christ. I know we talk and share about the access we have to the Father. I know we talk and share about the faithfulness of God to forgive and cleanse even on a daily basis.
But we live as though we are still incomplete, unforgiven, and unworthy to truly approach God except through very generic prayer.
It is time to get more aggressive in our Christian lives! It is time to leave the passivity of our lives behind. It is time to go confidently and boldly before the throne of Grace!
Study Hebrews 10:19-25 this week. Then go out and make a difference for our team!