Jacksonville, Florida

God’s Participation Trophy

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God’s Participation Trophy

This past Saturday, I went to my granddaughter’s final soccer practice. Not really practice, just a bunch of kids trying to learn the game as they chase each other around. But they have fun and that’s the important part.

soccerThe first mention of “participating trophy”
was in 1922. To read more go to


On this particular day, they received trophies for their participation. They never even played one real game. I know this gets a lot of people in an uproar, including me. These kids would probably have enjoyed an ice cream party just as much as the trophy. These awards are more for the parents than the children.

Then I got to thinking about Christians. We receive a participation trophy without even having to show up. All we have to do is accept Jesus into our hearts. It doesn’t matter where we do it, in our living room, on the street under an overpass, or in church. As long as we take Jesus as our savior, we get the best participation trophy of all, Heaven, without having to do anything else.

Romans 10:9 states that If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. In order to get to Heaven, you don’t have to go to church, you don’t have to feed the hungry, you don’t even have to tithe. All you do is tell Jesus you believe.


We’re in the trophy generation, give ’em a trophy for 23rd place, make ’em feel good. Make mom and dad feel good, you know.- Tom Izzo, coach


Participation trophies are supposed to make all kids feel good about themselves. But the kids involved, while excited for the trophies, were just happy to be playing with their friends. Once they get older, they’ll realize they did nothing to deserve these awards. In order to get first place, you will eventually have to work hard in order to win.

But the good news is, you don’t have to worry about winning or losing when it comes to Jesus. You just have to accept Him as the true savior and allow your heart to be changed. Once you do that, your reward will be waiting for you in the end. And no one’s first-place finish is bigger or better.

If you or someone you know is in need of prayer, please let me know in the comment section below. I’ll be happy to pray for the situation.

1 Comment

  1. Definitely a faulty concept. Beyond how participation trophies influence performance and achievement later on in life there are other considerations.

    Guilt would be one of the more oblique considerations. Anyone with a conscience feels guilt when they obtain something they didn’t earn. That can run the gambit from verbal praises to promotes, etc. Kids are no different. Even if it is at a deeper subconscious level it racks children with guilt. Children much like adults have internalized our unwritten norms, values , and virtues. While it might be fun to be a winner for a moment if it isn’t substantial true the high is short lived. The facts of reality set in and joy is rapidly fleeting. Most things that are contrived and insincere are ethereal. Therefore, are short lived and paired with a stifling crash.


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