Character in Training

* For all of our new Polish friends and everyone else – this is our devotional for our eighth lesson from the Ignite Summer Camp.

It’s here again – football season. All over the US, high school students and college students are getting their bodies back in shape and preparing for the fall football season. Win or loose I’ll be cheering on the Carolina Gamecocks. One of my friends, CJ Holcombe, (who is a Tiger’s fan) went with us to Poland on our mission trip a few weeks ago. These days he’s preparing his body to play football for the Spartanburg High School Vikings this season. Every morning he heads up to the school to workout. This Saturday I have the privilege to bring the devotional for the football team at one of their two-a-day practices. Sounds like fun, working out, playing football in the hot South Carolina sun until you throw up. That’s football for you.

Throughout our Bible study at camp and our follow up studies we’ve been talking about the basics to being a disciple of Christ. Our final topic is: character. Your character is the set of traits that defines who you are. It’s the things you do when people are watching and when their not. It’s integrity. The apostle Paul had a lot to say about this when he was writing to encourage young Timothy. In 1 Timothy 4:7-8 Paul says, “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”

Working out, eating right, learning plays, developing your skills and practicing as a team are all important if your going to be an athlete, but how much more important is it to prepare yourselves to be disciples. This is Paul’s point – holiness matters most. Being godly doesn’t just happen – it’s a daily decision to do what’s right, live like Jesus, and put him first in everything. If we’re going to be Christ’s disciples we need to make sure our lives reflect it (our character).

God bless all of you Polish friends and Morningside teenagers. It was a wonderful summer camp! As Paul said, “Continue in what you’ve learned…” make an impact in the Kingdom for God’s glory!

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