Updated: Aug 10, 2020
Welcome to the Coach's Blog powered by Dillman Coaching. This is where I have the opportunity to transfer the knowledge I've gained through my racing career to the brains of the Dillman Coaching athletes and whoever else wants to read and learn and get faster.
I've had several athletes contact me this summer about motivation and focus and while this blog doesn't tackle those exact topics, it does explain my personal motivation and focus. If you have scrolled through the Dillman Coaching website you may have seen the Colossians 3:23 Bible verse on the home page. In this post I am going to explain that verse and why I like it so much.
This blog goes a bit deeper than training methods or racing strategy. This is one of my favorite topics and also THE driving factor behind my motivation to compete at an elite level and frankly the motivation behind EVERYTHING I do.
Cycling In My Life
My mom worked in a bike shop most of my life, I grew up around bikes and eventually got a real mountain bike for my 10th birthday and have been hooked on bikes ever since. I started racing more competitively around 15 and now I’m 25. So for an entire decade now I’ve been racing bikes at a high level. Some of my best friends were made through bike racing. I went to college because of a cycling scholarship. I’ve traveled the world just to race my bike. And I’ve even married my wife CJ after we were cycling teammates for 4 years together. Cycling has played a huge part in my life.
But what some of you may not know is that I also became a Christian through cycling. When I was about 16 years old the coach of my cycling team was a Christian and I ended up becoming best friends with his son, Luke. So by spending a lot of time around this Christian family I started to notice something different about them and eventually Coach Haley and Luke got me a Bible and shared the gospel with me. And it was then that I decided to put my faith in Christ and start to live my life for him.
So with cycling being so influential in my life, it makes sense that my favorite verse in the Bible is also tied to cycling and for as long as I can remember I have declared this verse to be my favorite because in my mind it’s talking about cycling. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” Another version says it like this: “Whatever you do, do enthusiastically as something done for the Lord and not for men.”
And I remember praying this verse before many races as I had this new faith in Jesus and was also racing bikes. Me and Luke would often pray and Luke would always say, “Whether 1st or 50th, let us go out there and give all the glory to God.”
The Position Fuels the Ambition
When I read Colossians 3:23 I think “Amen! I want to race my bike as hard as I can and I want to do it for God.” I read this verse and automatically apply it to my specific situation as a bike racer. I wonder, do you do the same? When you read a verse like Colossians 3:23 do you think to yourself, “Wow, I want to be the best accountant or police officer or bike racer or husband or wife or parent or child for God.”
And so we find ourselves asking, does this verse apply to me? Because it isn’t relevant for all people. We want it to be, but it’s not. Let me explain.
One of my favorite quotes was made by Abraham Lincoln. “Whatever you are, be a good one.” What a good quote! It’s so simple, yet so profound all at once. And while this sounds a lot like Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, do enthusiastically,” I want us to see that these 2 phrases are completely different. Lincoln left out the most important part! “For the Lord.” Paul makes it very clear why we do all things wholeheartedly; to glorify God. Anybody can read Lincoln’s quote and think “Man, I want to be like that” but only Christians can read Colossians and say “I want to do all things for God.” Where Colossians 3:23 points us to God and encourages us to do all things for God, Lincoln’s quote falls flat only leaving us with an earthly standard of ambition or success. If we are followers of God, we desire to do all things for God. Our position fuels our ambition.
"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." -Colossians 3:1-4
This passage describes the position of Christ-followers. The “if” at the beginning means there are some people who are raised with Christ and there are some people who are not raised with Christ. Which are you? If you are a follower of Christ, then the rest of Colossians is for you. But if not, then the beginning of Colossians is for you. The beginning of Colossians talks all about our position with Christ; being alive in Christ, being baptized with Christ, having died with Christ. It’s all about being “in Christ" and what exactly it means to be a follower of Jesus.
And then in Colossians 3 it changes gears and starts talking directly to those people who are Christ-followers and the ambition to live their lives for God. And this makes sense. Only people who are "in Christ" and believing in Jesus for salvation are going to want to live life with him at the center of it all. So while the beginning of Colossians explains a persons position in Christ, the end of Colossians talks about the ambition of the Christ-follower. Our ambition to be like Christ is fueled by our position in Christ.
Knowing this gives us the context for Colossians 3:23. It is referring to people who have been "raised with Christ." So what does it mean to be "raised with Christ?" It means that you realize that God is holy and perfect and because of our sin we cannot have a right relationship with God. Sin separates us from God. But God loves us so much that he sent him very own Son to live among us and to die for us. When Jesus died on the cross he didn't die because of his sin, he didn't have any sin. He died on the cross for our sin. A substitution happened on the cross. Jesus takes our imperfection and gives us his perfection instead. And now because we are "in Christ" God sees the perfect life of Jesus instead of our sin. And when you truly believe this it will change your heart and will change the way you live. We call this repentance. Repentance is when you are living life for God. And all of this is what it means to be "raised with Christ."
So now we can come back to Colossians 3:23 knowing that it is talking specifically to those people who are Christ-followers. And if you aren't a Christ follower I implore you to put your faith in him. If you are curious about this faith in Jesus I'd love to talk with you personally about it. Just reach out through the contact page.
Now let's look at Colossians 3:23.
How Can I Glorify God At Work?
"Whatever you do , work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men." -Colossians 3:23
1. God calls us to work.
Notice is doesn’t say “if you have a job” but rather it implies you already do. “Whatever you do.” Doing nothing is not an option. We are all called to work in one way or another. God created us to work and for it to be good for us. If we go back to the beginning, work existed before Adam & Eve sinned in the garden. God created work to be good for Adam & Eve. But when they did sin, work was changed completely. The earth made it hard for them and work became frustrating. It shouldn’t surprise us then that our jobs sometimes cause us frustration because we live in a world that has been affected by sin. But God calls us to work. Before sin had entered the world, Adam & Eve were working and it was good.
2. God calls us to work hard.
“Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly." We are called to work whole-heartedly, enthusiastically and with everything we've got. If God has called me to be a professional cyclist, he calls me to do it to my very best. If God calls me to be a lawyer, he calls me to do it to my very best. If God calls me to be a missionary, he calls me to do it to my very best.
Notice here that God doesn’t really care what exactly we do for work, but that we should work hard at it. Obviously each of us have different talents and skill sets, so it makes sense that we would all do different things. I often joke with CJ and say that all I’m good at is spinning my legs really hard in circles so I’m going to stick to that. And that’s fine! This passage doesn’t get into what kind of work we are to be doing, but that we should be doing work and doing it hard.
3. God calls us to work hard for him.
“Whatever you do, do enthusiastically as something done for the Lord and not for men.” We are called to work, to work hard and to work hard for God. There are a lot of people who get the first 2 parts really well. They’ll work 50 or 60 hours a week and they’ll leave it all out there, but they do it to climb the corporate ladder or because they need the money or whatever other reasons there might be. But Christians are called to work hard for God. We work for a completely different purpose than the rest of the world.
Galatians 1:10 says, “For am I now seeking the approval of man or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Notice here how it says "a servant of Christ." A lot of times we introduce ourselves with our job titles. “Drew Dillman, Cycling Coach” or “Drew Dillman, Professional Cyclist” but really our job title should be, “Drew Dillman, Servant of Christ, Coach, Bike Racer.” Our calling to live for God has priority over our earthly jobs.
“Whatever you do, do enthusiastically as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” -Colossians 3:23-24
None of us would work a job where the wages were $0/Hour. That would be ridiculous. When we work, we work knowing that the work is going to pay off somehow. When we train countless hours each week, we do so knowing that the training pays off when the race season comes around. The reward for our hard work makes it all worth it. And the reward we are promised when we work hard for God is far greater than any earthly reward we could ever imagine. When we do all things whole-heartedly for God, he promises us “the inheritance.” We are “in Christ” and Christ is the Son of God, which means his inheritance is our inheritance.
Listen to Matthew Henry’s comment on this:
“Observe, we are really doing our duty to God when we are faithful in our duty to men. And, for servants encouragement, let them know that a good and faithful servant is never the further from heaven for his being a servant. ‘Knowing that of the Lord you shall receive the reward of the inheritance, for you serve the Lord Christ.’ Serving your masters according to the command of Christ, you serve Christ, and he will be your paymaster: you will have a glorious reward at last. Though you are now servants, you will receive the inheritance of sons.”
Sometimes we hear the phrase "that kid has heart." And when we say that, we may not mean he is winning or that he is the best at what he does. What we mean is that he is relentless. He never gives up. He fights. He pursues. He strives. He suffers. He never backs down. He has heart.
As a bike racer, this is my motivation and my focus. I want to do all things whole-heartedly for the glory of God. I want to suffer for God. I want to strive for God. I want to sweat for God. I want to race for God. I want my entire life to be centered on God. And even if I fail or crash or lose, I'm still "in Christ." My reward is not a gold medal, my reward is hidden in God and nothing can take that away. My victory is in God. And when God becomes your focus and your motivation you truly are undefeatable.
"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." -1 Corinthians 15:57