YOUR ULTIMATE CHOICE Articles
Jared AbbrederisThat was the biggest challenge for me
I was raised in the Christian faith. Growing up, my family was there for me, watching everything to make sure I was reading my Bible and going to church. And it’s not that I didn’t love doing that. But the biggest challenge I had when I came to Wisconsin to play football was making that faith my own. Going away to college, you are on your own, and you really have to make that decision for yourself, if that’s the way you want to go.
So that first year I made sure that I went to church and tried to get connected with guys on the team who are Christ-followers, and get connected with organizations like AIA, and really try to find what I wanted to be, which way I want to go—to be a Christ follower or to go off to the party scene. That was the biggest challenge for me—choosing which way to go. And you know, after that first year it was really easy for me to decide that obviously, following Christ is the way to go.
Being a Christ-follower is an everyday walk—just trying to follow Christ and bring people to Him; it’s a daily walk with Christ and fellow believers. I would say that it is accepting Jesus into your heart, believing that He died for your sins—everybody has sins, everybody is a sinner—Jesus took that sin on the cross for us, so if you believe in that, then you are a Christ-follower.
Now I play football for an Audience of One, which means to me that I’m playing solely for God, not worrying about what the media says, what the coaches say, what my family or friends say, or what the fans say. It’s really about giving my all for Christ, and it doesn’t matter what else happens. Now obviously, you want to take the criticisms from your coaches and try to get better. But you are to try to play for only God, give Him your best, give Him your all, then that’s all you can do. For me, it really breaks down the game; it helps me to not make the game and me a big deal. But I’m just out here having fun playing my best for the one who really matters, and that’s Jesus Christ.