Written by Tim Hocking
Colossians 2:12 – Having been buried with Him in baptism, you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.
Romans 6:4 – We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may have a new life.
Hockey seasons can sometimes be long with many ups and downs. Here in the middle of March many players have already finished their season, are entering a do or die playoff, or are playing out the final games as they think ahead to what next season may bring.
It’s during this time that we reflect on what we accomplished during the season as well as what we need to do to improve. It’s the areas of improvement that we typically carry with us into the offseason.
We compare ourselves to others in terms of strength, speed & skill. We focus on becoming stronger so we can play more physical, our speed so we can out-skate our opponents and our shooting accuracy so we can increase our scoring.
Sometimes we take steps forward in the offseason and make progress. Other times we do not.
It is this constant comparison of ourselves versus our peers, ourselves versus the standard of what we expect, that fuels our focus in the off season. A drive for perfection that makes each of us the fierce competitors on the ice that we are.
As Christians, this comparison is no longer necessary. This effort to get better and better on our own is now finished on your behalf.
The beauty of the Gospel – the promise of Jesus Christ – is when you are baptized in Christ your old self indeed passes away (2 Corinthians 5:17). All of the sins that you’ve committed are wiped clean and a new life begins. The skills that you so desperately focus on in the offseason…..those skills are now made perfect on your behalf.
Now, this isn’t to say you won’t have struggles. This isn’t to say you won’t sin. Just like in your skill development in the offseason, you will have ups and downs. But just like Christ who was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, you now have a new life to experience in Christ (Romans 6:4).
The focus of your life shifts from your efforts to the efforts of the one who has already done the work. It’s no longer necessary for you to try harder and harder in the offseason because all of the work has been done for you. Jesus came to give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; to remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).
He canceled the record of charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross (Colossians 2:14).
So as you head into the offseason and begin to put in the work to improve for the new season ahead……as Christians never forget that the finished work has been done already on our behalf. It is finished! (John 19:30).
Posted on Wed, March 18, 2015
by Rick Randazzo