Life Lessons That Can Be Learned In Soccer
When You Place Too Much Importance on Winning and Losing
Having God at the center of your life puts everything in perspective. Great athletes don't fall apart when they lose, unless their life is out of balance. The French philosopher Blaise Pascal said, “There is a God-shaped void in the heart of every man.” We should never call soccer our god, but when we put too much emphasis on anything, or not enough emphasis on God, our lives become lopsided and we create mini-god substitutes. Winning and losing a match can be dangerously overemphasized. Keep God at the center of your life and spend your life in pursuit of pleasing him and your perspective will be perfect (NT: Sport, 2004).
When You Face Tough Competition
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how d early God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with love (Romans 5:3-5) (NT: Sport, 2004).
Winners Work Together
Winners are more interested in the well-being of the team than themselves. One of the most beautiful things to see is a team coordinating their efforts toward a common goal, alternately subordinating and asserting themselves to achieve real harmony in action. Top athletes learn how to work well with others. When you are competing you have a common focus and purpose. The church is also a team (not a building) of fellow believers with a common purpose: to further the cause of Christ. “Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don't look out only for your own interests, but take in interest in others, too” (Phillippians 2:3-4) (NT: Sport, 2004).
When You Are Not Getting Enough Playing Time
Not getting the amount of playing time you deserve can be tough and frustrating. In this way soccer can teach us to persevere and be patient. Knowing God is in control and waiting peacefully is a great way to express faith and worship to God. Patience is a quality for strong people. We must remember that God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for Him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for teammates and other believers (NT: Sport, 2004).
Overcoming the Fear of Failure
Many soccer players do not fulfill their potential in soccer and in life due to their inability to overcome their fear of failure. In order to succeed, a player must accept that if they want to improve they must encounter failure. The process of learning how to handle their disappointment and how the lessons learned can improve them will develop a healthy drive. In order words, they do not like failure, but at the same time they do not fear it (NT: Sport, 2004).
The Value of Competiton
Competition will push you to be better. Sports in general have many virtues that can help a person develop in mind, body and soul. You must be aware of the pitfalls involved in sports, but also enjoy the benefits. Soccer creates great opportunities to learn and live out God's principles, which develop our Christian character. Winners will never stop learning new skills, life principles and respectful responses to others (NT: Sport, 2004).
The Biggest Win of All
Championships in soccer come and go but the disarming of sin on the cross is the mother of all victories. So how do we share in the big win, how should we respond and does Christ's victory over sin have anything to do with you? It can – by accepting His victory and nailing your own sins to the cross. Christ has victory over sin, which has eternal consequences, and you enter into that victory by your own acceptance of this gift. It happens to be the answer to the universe, the key to life, and the only victory that will ever last. “For the wages of sin are death (hell), but the gift of God (victory over sin and death) is eternal life (heaven) in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23) (NT: Sport, 2004)