The Bench Warmer
“For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ.”
-1 Corinthians 12:12
Every team has them. Most of us have even played the role ourselves, but no one really likes to. It’s the role of the bench-warmer.
There are only so many players who can play at one time, and every team has players who sit on the bench more than they play in the game. But does this make them any less of a team member than one of the starters? No way! The role of a bench-warmer is simply different than that of a starter. Bench-warmers have big roles in contributing to practices, developing team spirit, and in giving necessary breaks to the starters.
In 2 Samuel 20:14-22, we find a story about a wise woman who saved her whole city from being destroyed. Her name was never mentioned, and later in the book of Ecclesiastes, she is referred to as a wise man! But this doesn’t by any means diminish the fact that she took it upon herself to fulfill a very important role (finding out why Joab was trying to destroy her city). She played the part of the unsung hero—the bench-warmer; the second-stringer—and did it well.
Each player on a team is vital to that team's success. The starters are important, but they aren’t the only players of value. The bench provides much-needed relief and support that enables a team to succeed. Not every player will have their names written in the record books, but sometimes it’s the unsung hero who changes the tempo of a game or even scores the winning goal.
Today, whether you are a starter or a reserve, know that you are a valuable part of the team and that the Lord has put you in a position to contribute to the success of the group. Take the opportunity He has given you to love and serve those around you and to do it with excellence that brings Him glory.
1. Have you ever had to sit on the bench for an extended period of time? How did that make you feel?
2. How do you treat the less-talented players on your team?
3. Have you ever thanked the bench players for their support and encouragement? If you are a starter, how can you encourage them?
2 Samuel 20:14-22
1 Corinthians 12:12-20