Summer 2024

Devotional of the Week: Third is the New First

159845924_10“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37, 39

“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing” is a popular motto in the sports world. But what if God’s motto for winning meant that you had to come in last place?

As athletes, society tells us that success is measured by our ability to win. Awards, medals and trophies define our strengths as an athlete. In Matthew 22, Jesus teaches that the greatest commandment is achieved by placing God first and others second in our lives. By the process of elimination, we take third and last place. While God does not want us to purposely lose our games, He does want us to change the way we play.

We need to exchange our pride and desire to glorify ourselves for humility and a desire to serve our teammates. Instead of exalting ourselves and our abilities, we should turn the focus back to God.  He gifted us with our athletic abilities and placed us on our teams so that we could spread His love and serve our teammates and coaches. In order for Jesus to increase in our lives, we must decrease.  Trophies and medals will eventually rust and records will be broken, but the power and love of God is eternal.

God First. Others Second. I’m Third.

By Kassi Farmer, DistinXion

Kassi Farmer works for DistinXion and is a contributor to Sports Spectrum magazine. This devotional is taken from our most recent Training Table. Log in here to access our most recent Training Table. Subscribe here to receive 12 issues a year and a daily sports-related devotional.