“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
Romans 12:10 NIV
It was one of my first practices as a freshman in high school. I was still figuring out the added height and lanky limbs of my frame since my significant growth spurt the year before. However what I lacked in coordination I did not lack in confidence. Lining up across my teammate Scott, we bantered back and forth on who would start the season at nose guard.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of hits later after four years as teammates and best friends we would both be right and play multiple spots on the line together. We pushed each other on the field and in the weight room. We ate, laughed, sweat, bled and cried together. By senior year there wasn’t much we wouldn’t do to honor one another above ourselves.
I saw a recent story about two teammates that gave me chills. Jacksonville Jaguar Linebacker, Paul Posluszny recently announced his retirement. A decorated college player at Penn State and known for his toughness throughout his career, Posluszny was honored recently at a press conference.
Teammate and fellow Linebacker Telvin Smith stood before the press and spoke through the tears about his on the field brother:
“Just know I’ve never met a better man than you. I’ve never had a better teammate than you. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say someone love me that I didn’t do something for, than you. And I promise you - I promise you, I promise you - I won’t let you down. And I feel like that last game [The Jaguars' loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game], we let you down. So I dedicate this next season to you. And I promise you we won’t let you down.”
Smith also shared how Posluszny played through a torn pectoral muscle through immense pain because he loved his teammates that much. As a player and a man he clearly put others before himself.
In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul shares a similar calling with new followers of Jesus as he declares, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
I am constantly challenged by these words. It is one thing to love one another. It is another to be devoted to one another. And lastly it is greatest to honor another above yourselves.
In football you do this when you sacrifice yourself for the betterment of the team. You lay yourself on the line (and often your body and health) to put the success of your teammates before you. Christians have a daily charge to do the same for those around us. It’s seeing the family in need and sacrificing your free time to help. It’s knowing the elderly person who is lonely and taking the time to be with them. It’s finding ways each and every single day to put another before yourself.
Remember these words as you start your day. Find the opportunities to put them into action. Your teammates will honor you and so will your Creator.
 Romans 12:10 NIV