Faith and Competition

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Soccer champion Andrew Peterson explains why faith and competition go hand in hand.

Faith and competition go hand in hand. Guys that aren’t Christians have to try and satisfy the coach, whereas those of us who know God play our hardest to satisfy Him and give Him glory.

I grew up in the church. My parents are Christians and they’ve been involved in the church since I was a baby. But I really didn’t make a commitment to step out in faith on my own until I was a junior in high school. I went to an event called “Acquire the Fire” in Minneapolis that my parents helped put together. [While there] I talked to a guy from Sanctus Real [the music group] and he told me how he overcame cocaine and everything [through Jesus]. I took to heart what he said and committed my life [to Christ]. Ever since then I’ve been trying to follow Jesus. Even though I stumble every day, I try to live my life and model it after Him.

Pretty much every day, I talk to the guys, and do little things with them to show [God’s] love—if it is getting water for them, getting balls for them, whatever. Then every week we have Bible study and [I try] to step out and ask guys, “Hey, do you want to come to Bible study?” Just letting guys know where I stand on issues and not being afraid to be open and talk…you’d be surprised how willing people are to listen.

Also, some guys get a “bad rap” because they’re Christians and the coach can look down on that and think, “Oh, he’s soft,” or, “He doesn’t go and tackle as hard because he’s a Christian.” So it really makes a difference for some of us to step in and go into tackles hard—not try to injure people, but make sure we’re aggressive and good-spirited, and show that “this guy loves Christ but he can still be super competitive.”

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