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Photo: Enigma Sports

"Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing."

Vince Lombardi


The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Matthew 23:11-12

The context of this teaching is Jesus condemning teachers, who looked for “the most important seats in the synagogues”, who always wanted to be honoured and recognised.

Pride can be a challenge for athletes and sportspeople. You have to believe in yourself; you have to believe that you are better than your opponent. You cannot compete if you are riddled with self-doubt.

There are some successful sportspeople who are totally full of themselves; you don’t spend long in their presence without knowing of their achievements. On the other hand I know a world champion who is never happier than when anonymous, just one of the crowd.

The key is what is in our heart. Jesus said in this same chapter: “Everything they do is done for people to see”. We need to check our motivation. Are we doing “good deeds” in humble service of others or for others to see? It is God’s business to exalt or to humble.

“Pride is a serious sin, yet one of the hardest to identify. Seek God’s help to purify your motives and forgive your self-centredness.” (Jonathan Lamb)

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