Learning from the Lionesses

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It felt pretty good to be a Brit last Thursday.

England beat Norway 3–0 in the World Cup quarter-finals – the most watched women’s football game ever in the UK.

It was enough to make anyone patriotic. I was. And not just because we won.

It was clear that there’s so much to admire about the Lionesses. And lots we can learn.

Admirable hunger

Lucy Bronze, recently dubbed ‘the best player in the world’, said the team are hungry for world cup victory. "I think we're all born winners, that's our mentality," added Millie Bright.

They have their eyes fixed on the goal, working single-mindedly to win.

As followers of Jesus, Paul calls us to a similar determination:

‘Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.’ Hebrews 12:1

God would love to see us pursuing Jesus with the ferocious hunger we see in these Lionesses.

And we can, knowing that because of Jesus the prize will be ours (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Admirable self-discipline

The Lionesses’ achievement is even more remarkable given that it was only last year that the FA ruled that the teams in the women’s top league had to pay their players a professional salary.

This tells us something about the players who’ve had to juggle football with part-time work – they’re disciplined.

We too should undergo ‘strict training’ in our faith, but with one difference:

They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.’ 1 Corinthians 9:25.

If the Lionesses lift the trophy on the 7th July, their self-discipline will have earned them a temporary victory and joy.

But the crown we’ll receive after a life-time of purposefully pursuing Jesus, by the grace of God, will last forever.