The competitive spirit of March Madness has descended on the nation, leaving many glued to their screens to watch their favorite teams, cheer for unheard-of-before underdogs, and get shocked by the upsets that mark this pivotal moment in the college basketball season.
Just as fans wear gear to represent their favorite teams this time of the year, Christians have found an outlet in Christian clothing online to express their faith. In full allegorical fashion, college basketball fans express their allegiance to a team with sweatshirts and hats, and Christians reveal their connection to Christ by wearing their faith-based apparel year-round.
Revealing Your New Life with Your Modern Christian Apparel
When high school athletes get recruited and then receive a scholarship to a Division 1 school, they have accepted an opportunity to train at a higher level and reach bigger goals. They have no debt to pay and become members of a high-profile team with hopes of winning championships.
A similar experience happens to Christians when they become believers. Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world, and His death offers to all the free gift of eternal life. When Christians accept this scholarship to Heaven, they never have to worry about the debt they owe because of their sins.
Christians get a lot more perks than college athletes, such as:
- No debt: The Bible reminds Christians that “God paid a ransom” to save them, and that ransom wasn’t paid with money but with “the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18–19).
- New life: 1 Peter describes the old life as an “empty” life, but 2 Corinthians 5:15 points out that Christ died to give Christians a new life.
- Eternal life: Since Jesus paid it all, Christians get to live with God forever (Romans 6:23).
Athletes begin new, exciting lives when they get to play on scholarship at a college. They train under a new coach with a supportive team. Much like athletes, 2 Corinthians 5:17 explains that anyone who has accepted Christ becomes a new person and their old lives are gone. Christians get a fresh start with a new leader in their lives: the Holy Spirit. Christians also belong to a large, supportive group: a body of believers.
Athletes put on new jerseys to show that they belong to their team. Christians adopt a new way of life to show their connection to Jesus Christ, and now Christians can make the connection even clearer by wearing their own sort of team jersey—modern Christian shirts.
Taking on Training in Your Best Christian T-Shirts
College sports take athletes to the next level. The training gets tuned up, and athletes discover how coaches plan to use their potential to benefit the team’s goals. While talent has a role, the difference between good athletes and great athletes comes down to how those great athletes train and tap into their full potential.
God has a plan for the life of each Christian and has provided His Word for a complete training manual. Christians need to glorify God in all that they do. Ephesians 2:10 encourages Christians to remember that they belong to God. God made the world so that the world and the people in it could glorify Him. Proverbs 16:9 confirms that Christians might make plans, but God determines their steps. God has an even bigger plan for the lives of Christians.
Sticking to the game plan takes training. Athletes know that they have to run plays over and over again in practice to be sure they can execute the plan under a variety of conditions, especially under pressure. Great athletes know that how well they practice determines how well they play.
In Galatians 6:7, God’s Word reveals that same idea applies to Christians: You reap what you sow. Christians understand that training becomes an important part of their lives if they want to grow in their relationship with God. If Christians want to live in a Christ-like manner, they have to open the playbook for training—they have to open God’s Word.
Training tips include:
- Remember your identity (1 Peter 2:9). Christians must remember that they belong to the King. Not only must Christians aim to become more Christ-like in how they think and act, but they must also be Christ-like in their motivations. Christians should glorify God and reveal His goodness to others, not do good things to bring glory to themselves.
- Keep an attitude like Christ (Philippians 2:1–5). Attitudes these days normally means bringing some cockiness to the table, but Christ humbled himself and put others first. God asks Christians to not try to impress others but to impress upon them the goodness of God. God encourages Christians to be like Christ and put others first.
- Train to be godly (1 Timothy 4:7). God appeals to Christians to not listen to others but to listen to Him. Listening to God puts you on the path to godliness. Always test what others say by comparing it to God’s Word.
- Read God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16). God filled His Word with wisdom and instruction. God tells Christians that His Word can offer instruction and correction so that Christians know what God wants from their lives.
- Give God control over you (Romans 12:2). God wants to transform you by teaching you how to think spiritually. He doesn’t want you to conform to what everyone else might be doing. If you give Him direction over your life, He will show you how to renew your mind and help you understand His plan for your life.
Your training—your actions—become outward reflections of your inward faith, and you can cement that abstract idea of faith by wearing your Christian-based clothing. Your favorite faith-based shirts can be a beacon of light that highlights the motivation behind your good works.
Supporting the Team with Your Christian Tees
Getting to know the dynamics of each team becomes an exciting aspect of the recruitment process. Athletes participate in official visits and see the reality of who their teammates might be. Athletes get to see how the teams act, how the individuals treat each other, and how the team treats the training process. Serious athletes understand that playing with other great athletes elevates their level of play.
Christians understand this process to be true as well. While Christians should never insulate themselves from the world, when it comes to training their hearts and minds to be Christ-like, they need to surround themselves with good teammates. God’s Word has much to say about being a good teammate:
- Proverbs 27:17 points out that iron sharpens iron.
- 1 Corinthians 15:33 instructs that bad company corrupts good character.
- Proverbs 13:30 encourages Christians to walk with the wise.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells Christians to encourage each other and to support each other.
- Hebrews 10:25 reminds Christians to gather as a body of believers to encourage each other.
Team culture can be a wonderful experience. Reflecting your identity with Christ through your Christian-based clothing can encourage other Christians to boldly communicate God’s message of goodness and love.
Embracing the Plan with Faith-Based Clothing
All the training in the world doesn’t prepare athletes for missing a last-second shot or watching their opponents make a buzzer-beater. They can play well but still lose, and that makes for a disheartening experience. Working hard all season only to lose the big game can be devastating.
Christians live through this same experience in their everyday lives; however:
- God catches them when they fall. They read God’s Word and listen to Him, but they sometimes fail Him even when they try so hard to do what’s right. Thankfully, God doesn’t turn His back on Christians—ever. God has a plan, and even when Christians stumble and fall, God picks them up and holds them by the hand (Psalm 37:24).
- God’s plans always turn out good. Sometimes Christians find that they even though they have been following God’s Word and doing what He wants, their lives get rough. Those times feel disheartening until Christians remember that God promises that His plans will work together for good (Romans 8:28). Keeping your mind focused on God, helps you to remember that He has a larger plan that includes you, and that plan will be good for you even if life’s situations feel rough at the time.
- God has firm plans. You probably find it tough to trust someone who always changes on you. However, you can always trust God. He keeps firm plan that never change, not for all of eternity (Psalm 33:11).
When you put on your favorite faith-based clothing, you remind yourself that no matter what happens, God watches over your life to bring to pass the plans He has established. Your clothes communicate symbols of peace and comfort as you rest in the confidence that God cares for you.
Athletes hang on to their college gear for both the good memories and even the not-so-great memories. Christians should wear their faith-based clothing to remind them of the times they experienced God’s blessings and deliverance. They can use both good and bad times as important opportunities to build their faith as they remember God’s goodness.