May 8, 2017

by Paul J Banta

James 2:14–2 says, “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?  So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.  How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?” (NLT)

Throughout the Book of James, we hear the Lord to us work can get in the way of the growth of our faith in God. We have to learn how to include Him by using our faith to support our efforts. We get so busy coaching to win matches that we forget to use our faith and see the benefit of its availability. We simply do not have faith strong enough to believe He’s the driver in control, not us, and that we’re just going along for the ride, serving and doing His thing. Getting a faith-committed attitude to God is a real action of worship and service, and it verifies our faith in Christ.

Our cup in life many times becomes so huge that we often leave God out in the cold. That hurts Him deeply. I’m sure He thinks, “I gave this person all the tools, his love for the game, and his passion for being successful, and he drops Me like a hot potato just when I most need him to serve Me. I thought he was on My team. Why can’t he see that I’m there to help him be a winner? He just doesn’t get it. I feel like I’m knocking My brains out up here at his future home for nothing. Maybe I’ll just have to start back again with what My half-brother James was saying in the second chapter of his book. Wonder if this guy ever read it, believing it works?

Being a Christian coach is more than winning a title, wearing the best Adidas, Nike, or Puma gear, or seeing your name in the local newspaper. Your title and position need to represent Jesus Christ, and how you do your lifestyle must be for Him, not for the local newspapers or on a contract from a clothing manufacturer. Your behavior, attitudes, thoughts, and reactions to your players and those around you will reveal your real heart. Titles will mean a big zero for you if your heart is not committed to serving Christ through the game by a growing and committed faith.

What’s your next move?