I don’t like to use my blog for a soap box often, but there’s something I have to get out there to share with my hunting and fishing brothers and sisters in Christ.
We live in an incredible time to be a sportsman. There’s more info, more opportunities, and more gear than ever before to go after what we love to do so much. I’m afraid all of this has come at a price though. Has hunting And fishing become our identity? At the end of the day, for those of us that call ourselves Christians, are we more proficient in hunting and fishing than we are in our relationship with Christ? Do our hunting and fishing friends identify us first as outdoorsmen? Frightening thought.
I think it’s time that Christian sportsman covenant together to get something straight. We are not hunters and fishermen… And then Christians. If you put your faith for eternity with God in the merit of Jesus at the cross, that’s where our identity is found. You weren’t “born again” to be a hunter or fishermen. You were “born again” to be called sons and daughters of God himself, period. After this, then you can call yourself sportsmen, and be the best we can be out there.
What makes the Christian Sportsman’s opportunity so unique is that we can become very good in both the outdoor and spiritual disciplines, and mature in our walks with Christ simultaneously as one feeds the other. Why would we ever want to be less equipped in what has eternal value than we are in something that is temporal?
I have an old whitetail rack in my basement that I inherited from my grandfather. It’s no longer on a mount, and it sits on a shelf. At the time my great-grandfather harvested it, it was one of the largest whitetails known to be taken in the area of Arkansas he was hunting. I can’t tell you what it scores, and frankly I don’t care. The exponentially more important part of me having that rack is that my great-grandpa who passed on a long time ago, was blessed to have the opportunity to harvest something beyond special and now I have it to remember him by.
Here’s the lesson. It’s time for Christian Sportsmen and women to put a stake in the ground and make very clear that there will come a day when no one will care how many miles you hiked, how far a shot you took, how long it took to reel in that fish, or what the net score of any animal was. All that will be cared about is that you loved them enough to share the Greatest Adventure known to mankind with them… Placing your hope for eternity in Christ Jesus.
Earlier I mentioned that we need to covenant together to make this happen. Why am I fired up about this? It’s clear to me, after nearly 15 years of ministry, that compartmentalization has crippled so many who have such an amazing platform for glorifying God in what they do. I’m not talking about putting a Jesus fish on every business card or frame of your TV show. What I’m proposing starts inside of you, soaks into your family, and then into every single thing you do and person you interact with. It’s called maturing in Christ.
Let’s covenant to do this. It’s why JCS exists. We are Christian sportsmen. We are living the Greatest Adventure as we pursue a growing relationship with God and enjoy our union with Jesus along the way. I want to be clear. I am for the industries built around hunting and fishing. I am for the people who we call “celebrities” that work hard to represent our beloved heritage well. I am for good stewardship and protection of the lands and animals that make these things possible. But I am even more a proponent for spiritual life, spiritually healthy homes, and Godly relationships because Christ is at the center of all of them.
That’s our message, will you make it yours?