From: David Kabanje
Date: January 12
Subject: GMU: "Not Defined by the Game"

The Game


After losing the college football national championship to the Georgia Bulldogs, Nick Saban, head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, paused to reaffirm his players by saying, “These two guys that are sitting up here, they’re not defined by one game.” How often do we allow the game of life to define us? This week, we have focused on building our lives on God through submission and trust. The building phase of our lives on God begins to change how we perceive ourselves and others. Let me explain what I mean by quoting John Maxwell; “Who you are determines the way you see everything. You cannot separate your identity from your perspective.” In other words, my perception, reaction, and response to reality are dependent on my identity—this is a biblical truth. We are called to closely guard the avenues of the heart because they influence our identity and perception. So, back to Nick Saban’s quote. What we perceive as a loss or failure should not define our identities. Why? If we have committed to building and rooting our lives on Christ, then our identities are derived from Him; this, in turn, changes our perception of ourselves and others. We begin to experience life from God’s point of view.
Rooting and building our lives on Christ frees us to live a life that is not dominated by “a need to be understood, a need to be accepted, and from the fear of being lonely.” Now, I am very mindful that there will be instances where we do fail; however, those failures will no longer define our identities; they will merely become teachers. I believe that as Christians, we have yet to fully accept and live in God’s calling on our lives to be His children. We sometimes get distracted by the “game,” and we associate the loss as an indicator of worth when we lose. I pray that we stop this toxic thinking and immerse ourselves in who God says we are in Scripture. I pray that we build and root our identities in Christ even amid failure. What defines us is not the game of life but the One who is Life.