Whose Court?

Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2 (NIV)


Series: Games People Play

Everyone likes to win! But not every game is a winner. The court and the teammates impact the outcome of every game. Our family has played team sports on basketball, volleyball, racquetball, and tennis courts. Today, let me share with you a page from our family playbook.

Our daughter has been struggling with being bullied by a teammate. Despite the negative treatment, she’s done her best to live according to God’s standards and to remain kind. Her name, Isabella Grace, reflects her character. Isabella means “devoted to God,” and Grace means “kindness, courtesy, mercy, or pardon.”

Isabella has tucked Luke 6:28 and Matthew 5:43-48 in her heart and does her best to love, show kindness, and always pray for those who try to tear her down. Her resilience and strength inspire me every day.

Luke 6:28 (HCSB) says:

Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

Matthew 5:43-48 (HCSB) says:

“You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

My daughter is learning where her identity comes from. She has created a solid foundation in Christ, as Jesus teaches in Luke 6:46-49. When the river of life crashed against her, her house did not move. She is learning to play on His court in life and let His opinions of her ring out the loudest. It’s easy to feel inadequate and overwhelmed when we listen to what others say about us and carry those labels around. I’m glad she desires to read her Bible and has placed His truth in her heart, knowing she is uniquely and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14).

Life can be incredibly challenging, but we always have the choice to find joy and peace, even on the darkest of days. We must learn to keep shining and not let anyone dim our light. Matthew 5:16 (HCSB) tells us:

In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in Heaven.

Our thoughts determine our attitudes and our attitudes determine our actions. How do your thoughts and actions marry up? Do you weigh them against what the Bible says, or what the world says? When times get hard and people try to tarnish your character, do you believe man’s words or God’s truths of who he says you are? Is your first instinct to show love as Christ loves you or to lash out? Do you sit and worry and stew about the situation, or give it to God? The answers to some of these questions will help you determine whose “court” you have been playing on and whose opinion carries the most weight in your life.

After you determine whose court you want to play on, look around at your teammates. Be sure to find teammates who are going to encourage you to seek the Lord first and help you see what a Godly perspective looks like. Find people who will pray with you and encourage you in your walk with the Lord. People who will remind you of who you are in Christ, who hold you accountable, and who speak truth in love when you need to hear it. Teammates matter, so pick good ones who will help you through all the plays in life together on God’s court!

If you need help finding a team to do life with or feel lost, pray that the Lord will bring the right group into your life. Approach the situation with faith and learn the rules of the “game” you are facing. Strengthen your “playbook of life” by learning God’s Word and promises, and never forget that you are not alone – the BEST coach is always with you. Call out to God and ask for help whenever you need it, and remember that your teammates are there to support and encourage you along the way as you play together on God’s court.

Holding Fast to Hope,

Scripture References: Romans 12:2; Matthew 5:16, 43-48; Luke 6:28


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