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Bible Verses For Athletes

What does the Bible say about athletes?

No matter what sports athlete that you are whether you are an Olympic runner, swimmer, or long jumper or you play baseball, soccer, basketball, football, golf, tennis, etc. the Bible has a lot of verses to help you in all situations. Here are many verses to help you with sportsmanship, preparation, and more.

25 Important Bible Verses For Athletes

Inspirational Christian quotes for athletes

“The prayer offered to God in the morning during your quiet time is the key that unlocks the door of the day. Any athlete knows that it is the start that ensures a good finish.” Adrian Rogers

“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.” Vince Lombardi

“One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than 50 preaching it.” – Knute Rockne

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” – Michael Jordan

“Golf is just an avenue for Jesus to use me to reach as many people as I can.” Bubba Watson

“I have so many things to work on, and so many ways that I fail. But that’s what grace is all about. And I constantly wake up every morning trying to get better, trying to improve, trying to walk closer to God.” Tim Tebow 

“Being a Christian means accepting Christ as your savior, your God. That’s why you are called a ‘Christian.’ If you remove Christ, there’s only ‘ian’ and that means ‘I am nothing.” Manny Pacquiao

“God calls us to use our abilities to our greatest potential for His glory, and that includes whenever we step on the field,” Keenum said. “It’s not to beat the guy next to you; it’s to recognize it as an opportunity from God to reveal His glory.” Case Keenum

“I’m not perfect. I’m never going to be. And that’s the great thing about living the Christian life and trying to live by faith, is you’re trying to get better every day. You’re trying to improve.” Tim Tebow

Playing sports for God’s glory

When it comes to sports if we are honest there might be a small part of everyone that wants glory for themselves.

Though you may not say it, everyone has dreamed about making the game winning shot, game saving tackle, game winning touchdown pass, finishing first while a large crowd is watching, etc. Sports is one of the biggest idols. It is so easy to be swept into it.

As an athlete, you must preach to yourself. It’s all for God’s glory and not my own. “I shall honor the Lord and not myself. I am able to participate in this event because of the Lord. God has blessed me with a talent for His glory.”

1. 1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

2. Galatians 1:5 To God be the glory forever and ever! Amen.

3. John 5:41 “I do not accept glory from human beings,

4. Proverbs 25:27 It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable for people to seek their own glory.

5. Jeremiah 9:23-24 “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.

6. 1 Corinthians 9:25-27 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.  So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

True winning as a Christian athlete

These verses are to show that whether you win or lose, God gets the glory. The Christian life will not always go your way.

While Jesus was suffering Jesus said not my will, but your will be done. There are some sports athletes who talk about the goodness of the Lord when they are on top winning, but as soon as they are on the bottom they forget about His goodness and they have a bad attitude. I believe that God can use a loss to humble someone just like He could use a trial for the same purpose.

7. Job 2:10 But Job replied, “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong.

8. Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Training as an athlete

One of the greatest things about being an athlete is the training. You are taking care of the body that the Lord has given you. Always remember that physical training might have some benefits, but never forget about godliness which has greater benefits.

9. 1 Timothy 4:8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

Not quitting in sports

There are so much things that seek to knock you down on your walk of faith and in sports as well. Christians are not quitters. When we fall we get back up and keep on moving.

10. Job 17:9 The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger.

11. Proverbs 24:16  For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

12. Psalm 118:13-14 I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the LORD helped me. The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.

Never let the doubters get to you as an athlete.

Let no one look down on you, but be a good example for others.

13. 1 Timothy 4:12  Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

14. Titus 2:7 in everything. Make yourself an example of good works with integrity and dignity in your teaching.

Allow Jesus to be your motivation to keep pushing.

In the suffering and the humiliation He kept on pressing on. It was the love of His Father that drove Him.

15. Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

16. Psalm 16:8 I keep the Lord in mind always. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Win the competition the right way.

Do what is needed and have self-control. Fight through the struggle, keep your eyes on the eternal prize, and keep on moving towards the finish line.

17. 2 Timothy 2:5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.

Scriptures to help motivate and inspire you as a Christian athlete. 

18. Philippians 4:13 I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.

19. 1 Samuel 12:24 But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.

20. 2 Chronicles 15:7 But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”

21. Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Be a good teammate

Teammates help each other in different ways. They help keep each other on a successful path. Think more about your teammates and less about yourself. Pray together and stay together.

22. Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

23. Hebrews 10:24 And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works.

Sports can bring out so much adrenaline and competitiveness.

Remember these verses whenever you’re in an interview or when you are speaking with others.

24. Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

25. Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.


1 Peter 1:13  Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep a clear head, and set your hope completely on the grace to be given you when Jesus, the Messiah, is revealed.

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