Everything in the NFL is about getting as much as you can and accomplishing as much as you can. The average NFL athlete is only in the league for about three years; they have a very small window of time to do anything and everything they can to earn as much money and fame as they can, and boast about themself and their career — making themself stand out above the crowd. In the mind of the NFL athlete, you have to make sure you look out for yourself, or no one else will. In a way, this is contradictory to what you and your team have to do in order to win: play as a team. But this profession is also about you alone.
When you think about this lifestyle, it’s the exact opposite of what the Bible says we are to do. In John 3:30 it says, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (KJV). We can’t sit in the driver’s seat and allow Christ to increase in our lives. It’s either you in control or God. There are times when we think that we have it all together and we can handle life on our own, but once we face trouble, we run back to God as our crutch, don’t we? It’s so hard to consistently buy into the notion of dying to yourself every day.
We need to daily trust in God’s plan and the layout He has created for our lives. I want to die to myself, but I can’t do it out of my own strength or power of will. I’m leaning on God every step of the way. J.J. Watt once talked about the fact that in order to be great, you have to put in the daily work — the daily grind that is a constant battle against the flesh. It takes sacrifice.
The same is true with your relationship with the Lord! It’s not something you choose to do some days; if you want to be great in your faith, you must remain intentional and consistent in your time spent with the Lord and your obedience to Him. You have to die daily and fight the constant fight against the flesh.
The more you proclaim Christ through your life, the more of a target you will become to others — the more people will be looking at you because you’ll be different. The way you live your life speaks volumes to those around you. This is what John 3:30 is all about. This is the way I want to live my life daily.
There are so many great verses in the Bible. One of my favorites comes from Colossians 3:17 which says, “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
This is my life motto. I love this verse because it’s so simple! Whatever we do, whether it’s by our actions or what we say, we are called to do it in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And this with a heart full of gratitude toward Him. Without Jesus, we wouldn’t be able to have a relationship with God, the Father, at all!
Another verse that speaks volumes about life in Christ is 1 Timothy 6:11-12: “But you, man of God, flee from all of this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
Everything we do should be done out of love and our faith in Christ. Continue to fight this fight no matter what season of life you’re in. No matter the profession, battle or struggle you find yourself in today, know that God is on your side, ready to go to battle for you. It can be hard to keep an eternal perspective when everything around us points to the here and now. But in comparison to our life for eternity with Christ, our life here on earth is but a breath. Cling to the Lord and the eternal life He’s offering you.
There’s no challenge He allows us to face that He won’t give us the power to handle with His helping hand.
— Justin Simmons, Denver Broncos safety
The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit TheIncrease.com for more stories and videos.