The Right Choice
As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord.
What does it take to win the game? The answer to this question often dictates the primary philosophy that coaches use as the basis of their decisions. Under ever-increasing pressure to win, every coach and player has been encouraged to bend or break the rules. In the world of sports, why is it so difficult to discern what constitutes cheating?
In the 1999 Women’s Soccer World Cup, U.S.A. goalkeeper Brianna Scurry stepped off her goal line to make the game-winning save on a penalty kick. While the rules allow a goalkeeper to move sideways along the line, he or she is not allowed to step forward until the ball is kicked. In the championship match that day, the referee did not rule against the save. It is still a point of contention whether the referee and the player made the right choice.
Making the right choice and acting with integrity become even more challenging when it appears that our competitors are not doing the same. How can our players be expected to compete against a team that practices extra days or uses ineligible players or illegal equipment? As believers in Jesus Christ, God calls us to a higher standard, which He proved by sending His only Son to Earth so that we might come to Him. He desires that we act with integrity in every aspect of our life, including in our athletic competitions, but He did not leave us on our own to fulfill that call to live by His standards. He provided a way through a personal relationship in Christ. As coaches, we desire to win. Yet God does not want us to win the game at the cost of losing our integrity.
1. What does it mean for you as a coach to serve the Lord with integrity?
2. As a coach, what actions help you make the right choice when confronted with a difficult decision?
3. How can you model biblical integrity to your players and colleagues?
Lord, I desire to serve You. Help me to make the right choices and encourage my players to do the same. Give me the strength to act with integrity, even when others choose not to. Allow me to stand firm in my decisions and rest in the peace and love only You provide. Amen.