January 12, 2018
By Paul J Banta
2 Thessalonians 3:10-15 says, “Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.” Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in another people’s business. We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good. Take note of those who refuse to obey what we say in this letter. Stay away from them so they will be ashamed. Don’t think of them as enemies, but warn them as you would a brother or sister.” – NLT
Growing up, I watched my dad do carpentry. That wasn’t his professional, but he was good at it, and it rubbed off on even my younger brother who made it his professional and me. Our middle and oldest sons make their profession in this business and my youngest son, although he chose to coach soccer as his dad, can wheel a hammer. We must have had some sawdust in our family genes. One thing I’ve thought about over the years was that I had something in common with Jesus. I think it was the smell of fresh cut woods, the effort that goes into making something out of a piece of wood that had no shape before and the feeling of accomplishing some created by you alone with your hands. I distinctly remember a Christmas gift I made for my mom. It was a massive cedar chest and the smell I’ll never forget. It was good to give that talent away to someone I loved.
Jesus spent most of His life working in His family’s carpentry business and outside that we don’t know a lot about His life until He began His public ministry at about age 30. But we know that His father Joseph was a carpenter (Matthew 13:55) and that Jesus also practiced the trade (Mark 6:3). Whatever else He did we do know for sure that He was good at His profession, having done it for quite a while with a dad. Together, they both could help out in the family business putting food on the table for His mother and other brothers and sisters. While Jesus’ opponents, the Jewish religious leaders, attacked Him on numerous occasions, they never accused Him of laziness or freeloading. Indeed, He was also known to them as the carpenter. He paid the price to learn a trade that was worthy of helping His family and having others think highly of Him.
Jesus’ reputation was passed on to the early church. Paul tells the Thessalonians that anyone who can work should do so. You’ve got to believe Paul knew what Jesus’ trade was after all Paul was a tent maker. It’s God’s mandate for every coach to think, speak and work in the game with integrity and with a great effort as was the example of Jesus. Coaching this great game of soccer is the place where we can best express the nature of God in everyday life to bring about changes that will glorify Him rather us. Coaching is a worthy profession and as you well know a great way to enjoy the game. Most coaches have played and understand what it takes to be on the field in training session’s day in and day out and the efforts put forth in a season of matches. They know for they have paid the price of developing their talents. They are in a good position to understand what the players need to achieve and to realize success. Being that leader in soccer when centered on Christ allows for the following:
- Your work allows you to demonstrate integrity (working honestly)
- Your work allows you to provide for our families and others
- Your work allows you to often connect with non-believers
- Your work allows you to live out His calling upon our lives with passion and purpose
- Your work allows you to experience God’s power in the midst of day by day challenges for yourself and your players
- Your work can be a place of worship when you do it with a motive other to glorify Him
Today, view your coaching position the way God sees His plan to use you for His glory for the rest of your life. It is your primary calling so do it well.
What’s your next move?