The Most Misquoted Sports Verse in History

There would be little argument within the Christian sports culture that one particular piece of scripture has become the “go to” verse for Christian athletes. It’s plastered on t-shirts, posters, pictures, banners and even the walls of weight rooms.  If you put your mind to it, I’ll bet you more than likely come up with the verse below.

“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

Most have been conditioned to conclude “I can do all things” indicates Jesus’ power assisting in their success of scoring touchdowns, hitting home runs and winning championships.

Unfortunately, that’s not exactly what the writer of Philippians had in mind.  Paul wasn’t saying “I can achieve all things,” but rather “I can endure all things”.  He was sharing that he’d learned to be content no matter what his circumstances — rich or poor, hungry or well fed, in prison or out.

In the end, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” is not about Jesus propelling you to to achieve, but rather Jesus fortifying you to endure, ultimately discovering peace and satisfaction within every circumstance.

This shift in perspective makes all the difference for you as an athlete.  It reveals that Christ will sustain you during the highs and lows of competition.   That in good seasons and bad, victory or defeat, you will endure with Christ by your side.  He is enough.

In a world and sports culture where situations change so rapidly, it is assuring to have a relationship with a Savior who does not change.  The Bible says, “Jesus is the same yesterday, and today and forever.”  (Hebrews 13:8)  If Christ could endure the hardship of the cross, His strength is certainly sufficient to sustain us through the hardships of competition.

It is a Kingdom mindset to take refuge in the certainty that when the game is over, you still have Christ.