Whatever input you allow into your mind will directly affect your behavior. At least, I know this is true for me. Whenever I begin to slip in the music I listen to or the movies I watch — allowing myself to be influenced by content that’s not the best — I find myself being pushed in the wrong direction. I have to keep myself in check to make sure everything I’m letting into my mind is pointing me toward Christ.
When I’m not careful to keep clean by listening to Christian radio or watching uplifting movies, I experience my thoughts getting further from God. And at times, I see my personality begin to change. Suddenly I’m not as grounded as I should be, words I normally would not say start popping out of my mouth, and I begin acting in ways that cause me to think, “That doesn’t seem like me.” When moments like this happen, I know I have to reevaluate what I’m letting in. I need to ground myself and make sure I’m on the right path.
It’s easy to slip. Temptation and struggle with sin look different for every person. For me, I know I need to be really careful to pay attention to what I watch and listen to. Words are always flooding our minds, and it matters what those words are. If they are soft, gentle and soothing, that will reflect in our spirit. If they are hurtful or destructive, that will be evident in our lives as well. When I listen to music with Biblical lyrics in it — keywords that directly correlate with God’s message to us — I am filled with truth and imagery that can bring me closer to God.
Surrounding myself with guys who can hold me accountable has been huge. Being on the Cardinals and in community with other guys who are trying to push themselves to be stronger in their faith causes me to grow stronger in my own faith. I also have a group of minor league players I used to play with, and we daily send out a text with Scripture. Each day when someone shoots out a verse or passage, we create a dialogue around that topic, trying to place God’s Word in our hearts and minds so we be can be continually refreshed. It would be easy to ignore the texts or to think, “I’ll look at that later,” but by taking just a few minutes to read and communicate with other believers daily, we hold each other accountable and remind each other what our true purpose really is.
Growing up in a Christian home really helped me establish my faith in Christ and determine where my priorities should lie. Ever since I was young, I behaved in a way that was different from the other guys on my team. I stood out. I wasn’t an outcast, but my values set me apart from some of my other teammates. Today, when I see some of the older players in the clubhouse — men such as Adam Wainwright and Matt Carpenter — I can’t help but notice there’s something different about them. Something sticks out. Their actions, words and attitudes speak volumes. I’m not a super vocal guy, I never have been, but I want to be able to lead others to Christ by my example. When I see how these teammates of mine are shining God’s light through the way they live their lives, I want to do the same. They provide both encouragement and motivation for me to set myself apart in the same way.
Continue to seek God through whatever avenue you can, whether that’s music, movies, conversations or books. Hearing stories and listening to content others are sharing about God’s work in their lives will fill your heart and make you want to experience more of His Spirit for yourself.
— Luke Weaver, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher
Luke Weaver is a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals and a regular contributor of The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.
The INCREASE is now part of The Sports Spectrum Network. For more stories like this, visit TheIncrease.com