Peter began to tell Him, “Look, we have left everything and followed You.”
When most sport seasons end, numbers get crunched. As coaches, it’s easy for us to get caught up in this number crunching, especially as the media highlights our career wins, the titles we’ve won and the number of “Coach of the Year” awards we’ve received.
But any true coach knows that records are not what are important. Having the opportunity to work with athletes and make a difference in their lives is what is important. Coaches, like players, make a lot of sacrifices to develop winning teams, but most will tell you those sacrifices and successes are for the athletes—for the joy of watching players mature and grow.
In the Christian life, we make sacrifices as well. Instead of sitting in front of the television after a long day, we volunteer for church committees, sing in the choir, or work in the soup kitchen. What motivates us to do these things? If it is to build up a store of good deeds, then we’re more concerned with building a record as Christians than with honoring Christ. In other words, our “sacrificial” serving isn’t really serving anyone but ourselves.
In his book My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers asks, “Have you ever been driven to do something for God not because you felt that it was useful or your duty to do so, or that there was anything in it for you, but simply because you love Him?”4 As a Christian, I am called to serve Christ because I love Him, not because I need to earn His love. In fact, there is nothing that I could do to earn His love—Christ already paid the price for that love when He died on the cross!
We are not called to serve Christ for personal gain, for like Peter, we have left everything to follow Jesus! For Christian coaches, genuine love for our athletes motivates a selfless commitment to them. Winning takes care of itself.
1. Are you more concerned about your players’ successes, as individuals and as athletes, than you are about your own coaching accomplishments?
2. What motivates your “good deeds”?
3. What steps can you take to keep your motives on track—both as a coach and as a child of God?
Please remind me, oh God, that nothing compares to knowing Christ Jesus my Lord! Amen.