Finding God's Winning Spirit

Finding God's Winning Spirit

March 7, 2014 | Greg Smith | Sports


God is a winner. He does not come in second place; miss the final shot or false-start. God is always victorious; He has never coached a losing team. As a member of His team we are winners too. We are chosen, equipped and positioned for victory. It is only when we lose sight of His plan and become isolated and self-centered that we falter.

God's winning spirit is the abundant life promised to us in John 10:10 when Jesus says, "I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly." The Greek word for abundantly, found in John 10: 10 is perissós  which literally means, beyond what is anticipated, exceeding expectation; going past the expected limit.

I wrote Sports Theology: Finding God’s Winning Spirit to show that by applying the principles of our faith, and the New Testament, to everyday life we could be transformed into powerful followers of Christ.  Why Sports Theology?  The premise was this – If the Christian faith can improve performance in the most unforgiving setting (sports) then how powerful can it be in everyday life?  Here are some excerpts from the Book:


“Those who think that God cares about a specific team winning a game, match or event are thinking too generally. Sports theology does not say that God supports teams but rather believes that God supports players. God does not have an investment in an organization or team but rather in individuals. Sports theology says that God wants us to be successful and perform at our highest level, to maximize the gifts He has given us – glorifying Him in the process.

Those coaches who believe that this philosophy is not conducive to winning do not understand the importance of being spiritually balanced and the confidence that comes with knowing that I am competing with God’s gifts for His glory.  Those who think that the Christian athlete does not compete to win do not understand the power that comes from knowing that victory has already been won.”


Sports theology believes that athletic ability is a gift, like all other gifts, which are given by God to glorify Him.  In traditional Christian theology sin can be described as anything that separates us from God – in sports theology anything that impedes our ability to glorify God is called a “distraction”.  Pride, fear, and control are all such distractions that hinder our gifts which in turn diminish our relationship with God and are detriments to all performance. It is through faith that we become all we can be and perform with a winning spirit."


“One of the major differences between sports psychology and sports theology is the starting point.  Sports theology believes that athletic excellence comes from maximizing our God-given gifts and minimizing those things that distract us from meeting our potential.  In short, sports theology is not as much about acquiring skill as it is about getting out of our own way and letting God’s gifts shine through.”


 “No matter if it is on the field of sport, in the conference room or in our family room, we need to be intentional about those things that restrict our ability to perform well. We need to know our opponents.  We need to know where we struggle and are vulnerable; we need to know what brings us down or defeats us in life. We, like the Christian athlete, need to prepare to be victorious.” 

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