Patiently Meeting Others’ Needs
But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us! — Romans 5:8
We coach human beings, not robots. Each player has needs and hurts that must be met and healed. When players know we care about them as people rather than simply players who perform for us, they will respond positively.
Head coaches, though, sometimes find it difficult to get close to players. We must be “the heavy” in many situations, and not every player will like our decisions, even when we are confident our choice is the best thing. One way to smooth over this type of pressure is to encourage assistants to be involved as well; athletes need to know there is someone they can go to when the head coach is not their first choice. It’s our job as coaches to care for our players, regardless of how they’ve performed.
God demonstrated this approach in our relationship with Him. God’s grace covers our sinfulness, and He has given this grace to us in the person and work of His Son, even though we don’t deserve it. I am who I am by the grace of God, not by anything I do apart from Him. When we consider God’s goodness in the face of our own sinfulness, it leaves us in a state of wonder. Why is God so good to us? He is good to us because He is a God of love; it’s not because we are inherently loveable. We can be confident, therefore, that He will never leave us through all our sin and failure.
Consequently, God desires that we demonstrate love to those who don’t live up to our standards. When players fail on the field, we have an opportunity to show them love. Hearing praise when we’ve failed is a great blessing, and love will find encouraging words even while correcting a wrong. We reflect Christ’s love when we affirm our players as people.
1. Reflect on some of your past blunders, and thank God for His forgiveness and patience.
2. Do you exhibit patience to your teammates players and/or fellow coaches?
3. In what practical ways do you extend grace to those you compete with or those who compete on the team you coach?
Extra Reading: Psalm 84:11; Daniel 9:9–10; John 21:15–19; 1 Peter 2:9–10
Lord, I pray that Your unconditional love would shine through me today as I serve my players and colleagues, for Your sake. Amen.