April 23, 2018

Paul J Banta,

Galatians 6:4-10 say, “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. Be very sure now, you who have been trained to a self-sufficient maturity, that you enter into a generous common life with those who have trained you, sharing all the good things that you have and experience. Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God! —Harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. So, let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.” – The Message

We all want to be successful, but things like making bad choices often stand in our way. Bad decisions keep potential winners in the losing column. Our lives as coaches are full of trade-offs, but which ones should we continue to make us winners is a vital question.  The wrong choices you make today are the down payments on your problems for tomorrow and those lousy decisions, which have no place in the game we coach. They are indeed not what God wants for us.  Like I told one of my players one day, “Mike you’ve got two choices on this earth.  Do it good or bad.  Do it for Jesus or Satan.”  As Christian coaches, it’s pretty simple to figure it out regardless of how many soccer balls have struck you in the head.

What are some examples of bad trade-offs?  In our profession, it could be not giving your best in practice.  Maybe you didn’t take the time to prepared your players for the upcoming match or saying the wrong thing when you should have shut your mouth.  Perhaps you were not as loving as you should have been but decided rather to choose to hurt with cutting words.  You might have shut your mouth when a lousy referee continues to make mistakes even though he may have forgotten his glasses at the office.  In life making the right choices mean you are doing what God’s rather than what you want. Pass your best on to those you’re leading rather than being an example of some bad choices you made under pressure or because you didn’t prepare to do the right things ahead of time when in reality you could have. I’m sure you could make a list suitable only for you.

If you’re tempted not to be the obedient to Biblical principles that’s a good thing.  Don’t cave in!  Get some guts, stand tough and coach the game of life thoroughly and devotedly.  Success severing Christ means you’re willing to work longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else.  Give it the very best shot that you’ve got while being the person God wants you to be.  Speak to Jesus about those temptations you face, get the help you need through the empowering of the Lord’s Holy Spirit.  You can be more successful by obeying the Lord and walking where He wants you to walk not where you want to walk.  You won’t regret it.  Remember it’s always been about Him, not you.  So, let the Spirit of God work in you so that you will harvest a great crop of players while on this earth.

What’s your next move?