YOUR ULTIMATE CHOICE Articles
Sterling LucasI realize that football does not define me as a person, but it had become an idol in my life.
I grew up in the church my grandmother pastored. I always heard that Jesus died for our sins, but I didn’t fully grasp that Jesus was beaten and hung on a cross in our place, even when He did not deserve it, for our eternal life.
After my grandmother died, I stopped going to church. A few years later, my family and I joined another church and I began to once again pursue Christ. When I got to college, I began doing what most students do: living the party lifestyle. I was still a believer but did not always show it, and I wasn’t bold about my faith. I basically put God on a shelf.
Now, I understand how important it is to be plugged into a church or spiritual community to help you grow in your faith and keep you accountable. Athletes in Action provided that outlet for me. A teammate invited me to the meetings, and they talked about your identity not being in your sport, which appealed to me. I kept going back, and began really growing in my Christian walk.
When you truly follow Christ, you find peace in knowing that whatever you go through, the Lord is able to get you through. Last year, I suffered a knee injury and sat out the season. I believe that God allowed this experience to draw me closer to Him. I realize that football does not define me as a person, but it had become an idol in my life.
I am first and foremost a man of God, and football is just one of the many platforms that God has given me to bring Him glory. I am not perfect, and I fall short on many occasions, but I am standing here today by the grace of God, and I am going to do everything I can to fulfill God's will for my life.
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Photo courtesy Brian Westerholt, Sports on Film