FCA: The Relentless Devotional For Competitors


The Best Motivation

Kerry O’Neill


“For Christ’s love compels us...” – 2 Corinthian 5:14a


For the first time in her professional boxing career, Laila was on the receiving end of some really damaging punches. Yet, she recovered and won the fight. Afterward, Laila was asked by a reporter if she was tempted to quit. She replied, “Yes, but I remembered who my father is.” Laila Ali’s dad is none other than Muhammed Ali.
For the Christian, it is key that we remember who our Father is – God Himself. Since beliefs determine actions, it is vital that we have the correct biblical view regarding God. Our attempt to play for God leads to two very different responses:

Notice me! This is the unhealthy performance trap. This athlete or coach wants to succeed so God will notice them and be proud of them. This athlete is competing for the attention, approval and love of God (and others).
Thank you, Jesus! This is the healthy realization that God loves me unconditionally and, therefore, I don’t need to try to compete for His attention or earn His love because I already have both. I cannot do anything that would cause Jesus to love me more or less. His love is about Him, not me. My response? I am so grateful for His love and grace that I am motivated by thankfulness to live and compete to bring honor and glory to Him.

There is pressure in trying to perform, but there is freedom in competing and living from the overflow of love and thanksgiving. He wants us to experience His joy and freedom in all areas of our lives.


  1. Who are you trying to impress or please when you compete?

  2. When you compete, do you feel more pressure or freedom? Why?

  3. How can God’s love expressed in Jesus’ sacrifice motivate you in sports and life?


Philippians 2:13

Colossians 3:17

2 Corinthians 5:14-15


Luke 7:36-50

Heavenly Father, show me how much you love me and let that be my motivation to compete and live for You. Amen.

For more Relentless devotions and Bible studies, check out the Athletes Bible at fcagear.com