April 2, 2018

By Paul J Banta

James 3:13-18 says,  Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom—it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats. Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.” – NLT

Each player on your team is unique with a complex blend of backgrounds, temperaments, gifted abilities and the stories go on. Yet, these differences are often the root of potential relational conflicts and problems either with you, your coaching staff or with teammates. Uniqueness and differences pose all kinds of communication problems. We often simply don’t understand each other or want to listen to each other! We must use wisdom recognizing and valuable differences in each other allowing all to play the game together and at a higher level. Our uniqueness requires that we use wisdom in order to relate to others in different ways, rather than relating to everyone in the same way with the same rigid structured, as if everyone will think and respond the same way. It’s impossible and certainly not relevant to coaching this way in today’s game.

The Bible tells us the characteristics of genuine wisdom: “The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure and full of quiet gentleness. Then it is peace-loving and courteous. It allows discussion and is willing to yield to others; it is full of mercy and good deeds. It is wholehearted and straightforward and sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness” (James 3:17-18). Read the following six ways to be wise when relating to your players based on Biblical principles.

  • I will not compromise my integrity (wisdom is pure). I’ll be honest with you. I’ll keep my promises and commitments to you.
  • I will not antagonize your anger (wisdom is peace-loving). I’ll work at maintaining harmony. I won’t push your hot buttons.
  • I will not minimize your feelings (wisdom is courteous). I may not feel as you do, but I won’t ignore or ridicule how you feel.
  • I will not criticize your suggestions (wisdom allows discussion). I can disagree with you without being disagreeable.
  • I will not emphasize your mistakes (wisdom is full of mercy). Instead of rubbing it in, I’ll rub it out.
  • I will not disguise my motivations (wisdom is wholehearted and sincere). I’ll be authentic with you. I won’t con or manipulate you.

Well, what are you waiting for? Get working on these today for tomorrow you’ll be helping the Lord produce some great player.

What’s your next move?