UNPACK this... For March Madness Fans

Day 5 of 5 • This day’s reading


Watching Duke Lose with UNC Fans  

The Duke and UNC rivalry is always a big deal for players and coaches…and especially for fans. Growing up in North Carolina as a Duke fan, I took part in a great deal of arguing, debating, taunting, and excuse making between myself and other UNC fans.

But, what I’ve come to realize over the years is that  I can still be friends with loyal UNC supporters. Even though we’re on different sides, when our friendship is built on a solid foundation, we can enjoy reasonable conversation and have fun together while watching our favorite teams battle it out.

A similar interaction can also take place with people who don’t have the same belief system as we do. When we struggle with conversations about our faith, we can follow the example Jesus set by showing grace and love to those still searching.

Understanding how to communicate with those not following Jesus is crucial if we want to have passionate discussions about our faith and allow God to challenge and encourage us in our walk with Him.

We don’t want to “talk trash” or “taunt” or dismiss anyone from the “other team,” as that kind of behavior will only push them further away. Instead, we need to make sure we don’t miss out on explaining the reason for our hope and the power of Jesus.

By being good listeners and level headed about what we believe, others will be drawn to us and see Jesus shine through us. We will end up having reasonable conversations and enjoying our time together.

Paul encourages us in Colossians 4:5-6 (NLT), “Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.”

The rivalry between Duke and UNC is fierce, but pales in comparison to the good and evil and life and death battles that rage around us. We all need Jesus, so let’s do our part to love others and point them to Him.

I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack this!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I recognize that not everyone knows You, so please use me to attract others to Jesus. I pray I’d have thoughtful and loving conversations with others while revealing to them the reason for my love and hope. I pray they’d see You in me. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

 *For more devotionals about sports and faith visit unpackinit.com.