Let's face it, in the hockey world, telling people about Jesus Christ and your faith can often be a challenge. There are numerous obstacles to overcome.
- You want to be open about what you believe, but you also want to be part of the team. If you are too "preachy", you might turn people off and cause them to tune you out. Not good.
- You may not know what to say or how to say it. You may try to explain something that seems simple to you, but appears like quantum physics to your linemate. You only end up confusing your teammates. Not good.
- You play for a coach who doesn't want any part of any faith discussion. The moment you start talking about anything that has to do with God, and bang, you might not be playing so much. Or worse, your teammates don't want anything to do with what your saying because they don't want to get in the coaches dog house. Not good.
These are just a small fraction of the hurdles one will encounter in sharing their faith within the hockey world (or any world really). The list could be endless. The list we create in our own heads often leads to us just sitting there and hoping we won't get put into a situation where we have to express what we believe. So, what are we supposed to do? Are we supposed to try and hide? Are we supposed to live one way at the rink and another way at home or in church? How are we supposed to live out the command to tell others about the Hope that we have in Christ (1Pet. 3:15), but still feel as if we are part of the team amidst persecution?
ACT Before You SPEAK
Well, there may be many answers (which we will cover in future posts), but today we are going to look at one tip that will help you share your faith in Christ to your teammates:
ACT Before You SPEAK
In the early church, disciples of Jesus Christ lived differently. They lived so differently it caused people to stop and take notice. They would do things so different from what was normal during that time people couldn't help but wonder what they were all about. For example:
- In those days, women were treated as second class citizens and did not have the same rights or privileges as men. BUT, the early disciples treated women as daughters of God, people to be loved & respected. This was totally different.
- In those days, the poor were cast off and forgotten about because they could not help society. BUT, the early disciples treated the poor as if they would inherit the earth. They took care of them and looked after them; providing for their needs. This was totally different.
- In those days, life was about gaining power. It was about climbing to the top. BUT, the early disciples lived with a different mentality. They said they were powerless, but received their power from Christ alone. They didn't seek power, but shunned it apart from Christ. This was totally different.
These are just 3 examples of how different the early church lived. The beautiful thing about this living was it created opportunities for them to tell people about Jesus Christ. Their actions led to proclamations. This was because people were so intrigued with how different these early Christians lived they couldn't help but ask "WHY" they choose to live like this. So, by living differently, they opened the door for a conversation about the reason they did live differently. When people wondered "What is going on with this group of people over here?" They could explain to them what was different about them.
The Wrap Up
We all know the age old cliche: "actions speak louder than words." Although, we don't like using those too often, this just seems to fit. Your actions speak volumes about what is in your heart. Let your actions open the door for words. If you are having trouble speaking about Christ in a hockey setting, first try and live out what you believe so that others will see the difference in your life. When you believe in Christ, your on ice play will reflect that belief. Your language will reflect Christ. How you treat your teammates will reflect Christ. How you carry yourself in the locker room will reflect Christ. Everything you do should reflect Christ. Before you know it.....people will be asking you what your all about and then you have an open floor to tell them about God's love.
Have you been living like Christ is in your life at the rink? Why or why not?