What got me thinking? Football.
My youngest is now a JV football player. I know I don’t look old enough to have a son in High School right? 🙂 Seriously, it’s been a joy for me to sit in the stands and cheer for him. Coming from small town Texas where Friday night lights shut down the town I am especially proud. Austin has played football since he was a small boy. I’ve always worn his team colors and cheered for him and the team too. He has had some great team names like Chargers and Bears. Last year he was a Diablo… nice little picture of a devil and pitchfork painted on the side of that helmet too. Imagine me, a minister, yelling Go Diablos! Kinda a contradiction right?
This year he is a Saint. I caught myself the other day thinking – as I’m yelling Go Saints at the top of my lungs (completely embarrassing my kiddo) how important it is to call out the gold in others. Literally as I’m yelling God, once again, impressed on me the importance of identity. Our children, friends, family, and those we lead must understand they are saints. I didn’t make that up – if you read almost every letter Paul wrote to the churches he loved he began with the greeting… “to the Saints in ….”. Paul under the inspiration and direction of the Holy Spirit addressed each group in such a way that no matter what failures, problems, or conflict he was addressing they knew they were Saints. Not because of anything they had done but because of who they belonged to. Paul understood the importance of inspiring and calling out the gold in others. A person who understands their true identity can withstand any storm. They become unshakable in purpose and rooted in position. These people are indestructible. They are overcomers – victors in life – mighty warriors in the Kingdom of God. Paul was a great coach!
In football one team has to lose and one wins. Win or lose my child is still a Saint. Friends, the same is true of you. When we joined God’s team we took on his identity. Not only are we Saints, we are:
Beloved – Set Free – Forgiven – New – Unashamed – Gifted – Called – Delighted in…
I could go on. Don’t let the losses of life get you down. Don’t be tempted to change your name because you had a bad game. Your always a winner – always a Saint – always accepted – always loved. These names are not only WHAT you are – they are WHO you are! Every day we before we go out to fight the good fight of faith on the football field of life we need to remember to put on protective gear. Austin wears shoulder pads, a girdle, and helmet. As believers we get to wear the armor of God. That armor includes a breast-plate, a helmet and the belt of truth. Imagine your team name painted on them – Saints! Get your gear and get in the game.
10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.* Eph 6:10-18 NLT
Call out the Gold in others by:
- Reminding them they belong to God
- Calling them the same names God uses – beloved, victor, etc…
- Never letting them change their name because of a bad game – in other words don’t allow negative self-talk. We are not defined by our losses – we are defined by how we respond to them!
- Cheering for them in the game of life
- Loving them win or lose
- Helping them identify the lessons in losses
- Teaching them how to Gear Up and Armor Up
Hit reply and let me know what your called! (ie. Saint, Beloved, Gifted)
CJ Rapp is an Identity Coach, Leadership Advocate, Speaker and Author. For information on coaching contact CJ @ email@example.com. Check out CJ’s free upcoming teleseminar The Unshakable Leader.