YOUR ULTIMATE CHOICE Articles
Chris ConleyI feel like I should play to the best of my ability, because I represent Christ.
I grew up in a Christian home with parents who took me to church, and we grew up reading the Bible. I accepted Christ at a young age but I really didn’t know what it meant then. Knowing what it means and living a Christian lifestyle has really only been since middle school.
I was involved in the church youth group and went on a number of mission trips and other ministry opportunities. I was taught what it really means to be a Christian, not just in title but a real relationship. All those things helped my understanding grow, and I realized it was a lifestyle I would have to work on every day of my life.
College has been a different experience. You’re not around your parents and your home base. There are people with outspoken ideas that are different than yours, so you have to be confident and stick to your beliefs. I found people here who would help me do the right things. As the Bible says, “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Prov. 27:17)
I was a mid-year enrollee at UGA and didn’t know anybody, then I got involved with Team United, a ministry to athletes at Georgia, and those guys welcomed me with open arms. They gave me an environment to adjust to college and be around good people. Our team chaplain connected me with those guys and friendships grew.
Studying the Bible helps me grow in my faith. That’s something I work on every day. Am I perfect? No. But I know who is perfect: Jesus. I also stay involved in church and remain around people who move me in a positive direction. I feel like when the Bible is being poured into you, that’s what will come out. When situations to share come up, you’ll be able to pour into other people. I’m not afraid to say things about my faith, but I like to live my life so people notice a difference in me.
My faith and sport are intertwined. The Bible says to do all things as unto God. That directly correlates to me playing football. It’s something I do and people take notice. I feel like I should play to the best of my ability, because I represent Christ. I love the sport and want to be the best I can be. But there’s nothing I can do apart from Him. I truly believe that without Christ I can do nothing. I am not good at football without Him. I wouldn’t be at Georgia without Him. He’s given me this platform(as a football player) for a reason. I didn’t get here by myself.