Daily Devotional: Wednesday, May 17 - Prioritizing Unity

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death.”  — Philippians 2:5-8

>> Sign up here for Sports Spectrum devotionals sent right to your email inbox <<

Unity doesn’t just happen, it is intentional. It begins with a mindset that prioritizes and pursues it. As taught in Philippians 2:1-11, the example to follow is Jesus. It begins by thinking like He did about ourselves and others. The humility of Jesus is seen in phrases like “made himself nothing,” “taking the very nature of a servant” and “becoming obedient.”

Unity is built around the actions of the humble. The mindset of the Christian is that we are together and unified in Christ regardless of differences in nationality, economics, background, race, etc.

In his book, “The Power of an Encouraging Word,” author Ken Sutterfield relates a story from the 1936 Olympics held in Berlin, Germany. Jesse Owens of the U.S. was the world record holder in the long jump. Yet in his first two qualifying jumps, he fouled by taking off from several inches past the jumping board. He was one mistake away from being eliminated. Owens was aware of the Nazi desire to prove Aryan superiority, especially over people of color. Tensions were high and nerves had gotten to Owens.

Then something remarkable happened. In full view of the crowd, Owens’ German competitor, Luz Long, introduced himself to Jesse. Long suggested Owens make a mark a few inches short of the board in order to not foul. With this technical assistance from his “foe,” Owens easily qualified and went on to win the gold medal in this and three other events. Owens never again saw Long, who was killed in 1943 during World War II. Yet, years later, Owens would speak of their “24-carat friendship.”

A mindset and simple action brought unity for these two men, despite their many differences.

— Jeff Totten, Detroit Tigers chaplain

If you would like to submit a devotional, please email all submissions to

Click here for all Sports Spectrum Daily Devotionals

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more devotionals and stories where sports and faith connect <<

>> Purchase “The Increase 52 Week Devotional” to further grow your relationship with Christ <<