We end every practice or team gathering with the following words:
We are.... Warriors
We fight.... To the end
For the glory.... Of God
We never... Give up
The purpose of this chant is reaffirm why each of us is gathering together as a team. We are coming together to honor God, we seek to do so through the game of football and we recognize this is a fight to which we are dedicated and will not always be easy. Finally, our ultimate goal is to be State Champs.
Every team must have a goal to be successful. If you are a coach or a player who is looking to win a single game in the upcoming season, or to make it to the playoffs and its anything less than winning it all then you are selling yourself and your team short. We should not be playing the game to win games. We should be playing the game to win championships. I can't stand the saying. "It does not matter whether you win or lose, it is how you play the game." The implication in this saying is you can win or lose so long as you exhibit good sportsmanship and the goal of being the best is secondary. The proper saying should be "You should strive to win the Championship and do so with honor and integrity."
The spiritual equivalent of the traditional saying is, "It does not matter whether you sin or not, it is how you live your life." Does the bible teach us that our actions on earth are insignificant to our salvation? Is God telling us that he has no ultimate goal for us to which we should be striving daily? In Colossians 1, Paul addresses the church and tells us the goal is to "present everyone fully mature in Christ." The spiritual championship is to be mature Christians. He recognizes we may win and lose games along the way but our goal is to stand before God as "mature" men and women in Christ.
Maturity in Christ is not accomplished by playing the game without acknowledgement of the goal. You can read your bible, go to church every Sunday and Wednesday and still not be a mature Christian. In order for Christian maturity to develop in your life, you must make a choice to learn God's Word, allow God to renew your mind, and then be obedient to what you learn. When you became a child of God, you were given all you need "in Christ" to become a spiritually maturing believer. However, you are responsible to make a choice! Will you choose to use and apply God's principles to your life? You don't have to worry about becoming mature. God does the changing!
As we embark on another season in pursuit of a state title, I pray we all are in pursuit of spiritual maturity. I pray we all make the daily choices which manifest God's word in our lives so that we can all stand before Him on Judgement Day having won the Championship as mature Christians.