Competitive nature is ever-present in the human race, especially participants in sports. We asked multiple athletes from different activities what they think about God’s favor in their events.

Ask The Athletes: Does God Want Bethel to Win?

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Competitive nature is ever-present in the human race, especially participants in sports. We asked multiple athletes from different activities what they think about God’s favor in their events.

By Jared Martinson 

DavidCushing (1)David Cushing (baseball) 

One thing I have learned over the years as my faith and athletic careers have developed is that God is first and foremost a loving God, and He only wants what is best for us. I read in a book recently that one of the best things you can pray for is that “God’s Will be done.” No team goes undefeated forever. No team is perfect in terms of achievement, but a team that believes in God’s will and His loving providence has the chance at being perfect. No matter what happens in a game, whether that be win or lose, God wanted you to grow, and if you look at the outcome in that sense, that God wants us to grow and love Him, then it is easier to swallow losses. So no, I don’t think God wants Bethel to win in athletics. I think He wants us to grow, and become closer to Him in the process. Yes, ideally we would like that to be through victory, but if it isn’t, we need to realize that the true victory is in knowing God. No, He doesn’t want us to win, but He also doesn’t want us to lose. He wants us to grow closer to teammates, coaches, fans, and ultimately Him, through the trials and tribulations He presents to us during our seasons.”

KirstenOlsonKirsten Olson (hockey/golf)

I think that aAthletics are not important to God! But I also think that God wants us to play for the Lord and show His glory through our attitudes and actions towards the opposing teams.”

 

 

TinaHoppeTina Hoppe (volleyball)

“I would say no, I do not think God wants Bethel to win. To be quite honest, I do not think He cares if either team wins or loses. God cares about us, our relationship with Him, and how we reflect that relationship onto others. Plain and simple, God wants us to love. So, where does athletics fit into this? Well, you can love your teammates and love the process. Additionally, you can learn a lot from sports, both from winning and losing (I would argue you can learn even more from losing), and you can develop good skills and character traits. Traits like passion, discipline, leadership, and the obvious, teamwork, are just a few. In sum, though, I would say no, He doesn’t care what the result of the competition is.”

NoahBraggNoah Bragg (golf)

 I think God wants us to do whatever helps expand and glorify the kingdom of God. Athletics gives us a perfect platform to do that. If we do everything we can to glorify God in our athletics and happen to win, what could be better than that?”

 

 

J.J. Wahlquist (football)JJWahlquist

“I believe God wants Bethel to be victorious if we put Him first in in our play. We play for an audience of one, and He is our audience. If we do not play with a purpose of serving God and giving Him the glory, then I feel like He would like to teach us a lesson by giving us defeat for a learning opportunity.”

 

Emma Johnson (hockey)EmmaJohnson (1)

“I believe God wants Bethel to be victorious if we put Him first in in our play. We play for an audience of one, and He is our audience. If we do not play with a purpose of serving God and giving him the glory, then I feel like he would like to teach us a lesson by giving us defeat for a learning opportunity.”

 

Shawn Monroe (track & field)ShawnMonroe

First I have to admit that it is hard to answer this question, because I don’t want to say that God does not want us to win, but at the same time I want to say the He does want us to win. If I were to choose a side I would say no. No, because winning isn’t everything. For example, at indoor nationals as a 4×4 (4 by 400-meter relay team) we didn’t win, but we accomplished more from not winning. We were able to glorify God in our actions and I feel like that is more important to God than winning. When God wants “Bethel Athletics” to win, shouldn’t other schools believe that God should allow them to win? In the end it would all be in a dilemma of who we think God should win and I feel like that is a unhealthy place to be in. Winning isn’t everything, and often times losing builds character which can help us rely on God fully and grow closer to Him.”

MaraBalzerMara Balzer (track & field)

“I believe that God doesn’t necessarily care if we win our games, races, or matches. But I do believe that He wants us to use our gifts that He has given us to the best of our ability and to bring all the glory to Him whether it is by winning or losing. We can’t do better than our best and glorifying Him in our sports is a way especially that I use to worship Him and the abilities He has given me.”

 

*All headshots courtesy of Bethel Royals Athletics*

 

 

 

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