Stang: Are you on Team Nike or Team Sprite?

I don’t know many people who like chicken liver.

Well, I take that back. I recently asked that question to our church and there was an overwhelming response of people who not only liked chicken liver but were adamant about it.

I cannot stand it. I have tried it fried. I have tried it with onions. I have tried it with french fries and hushpuppies.

I have even tried to mask the taste while drinking a gallon of sweet tea. No matter what I do, I can’t shake the taste; it always catches up with me.

Now, for me to like chicken liver; one of two things would have to happen.

First, I suppose, the substance of the liver can dramatically and miraculously change into a steak or a chicken leg. Or I get a tongue transplant.

If I were to medically trade tongues with someone who liked chicken liver, for the first time in recorded history I would then like chicken liver.

Once that were to happen, eating chicken liver would be a get to, not a have to. Especially, if the steak were to come from Malones.

That is exactly what happens for all of us who are believers. We are given a tongue transplant so to speak.

When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you are given a new set of longings, a new set of inclinations and new hunger for righteousness. The more you tap into this new disposition, the more alive you feel.

This is Paul’s instruction to believers in Ephesians. He writes, “Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24).

The Bible is explicit in that when you and I come to faith in Jesus Christ we are a new person with a new nature, and we are given a new perspective.

The Puritans might say it this way, you have been given a gift to do the will of God by the Spirit of God.

The problem I find is many Christians look at their spirituality through the motto of Nike: Just do it.

It’s a chore to pray. It’s a chore to come to church. It’s a chore to love your neighbor. It’s like telling a child to eat their vegetables; it’s good, but there isn’t any passion to do it.

May I suggest a better way to look at your spirituality and that is through the lens of the motto of Sprite: Obey your thirst.

Our new nature in Christ, craves to do the will of God. We begin to relish in doing the will of the Father. The more we lean into His will, the more alive we become. There is something within us thirsting for the things of God.

So, when it comes to your faith, are you team Nike or team Sprite?

Tony Stang is the senior pastor at First Baptist Church Winchester. He can be reached at