Should Have Listened
"At the end of your life, you will lament when your physical body has been consumed, and you will say, “How I hated discipline, and how my heart despised correction. I didn’t obey my teachers or listen closely to my mentors.” -Proverbs 5:11-13
“It’s OK. They won’t hurt you.”
“It will make you better, bigger, stronger.”
“Don’t worry, no one will ever know...”
These are some of the phrases that student-athletes hear when they are encouraged to take steroids. The pursuit of greatness is so powerful today that many athletes—young athletes—are doing things that put their lives in jeopardy. I am sure that there are two voices they are hearing, but there is only one that they should be listening to.
Proverbs 5 addresses the topic of staying away from things that are bad for you. In verse 13, you hear the remorse of someone who wishes he had listened to the wise advice he received instead of choosing to follow the crowd and his own evil desires. This sad story rings true in sports and in society today. Today, athletes are getting wise counsel from coaches, trainers, parents and pastors, but they are also getting advice from those who do not have their best interests at heart.
Whether the struggle is with steroids, drugs, drinking, pornography or something else, athletes must choose to listen to wise advice. It is crucial! They often want to choose immediate gratification over long-term goals, but it is the eternal—not the internal—that really matters. Coaches who push athletes to take steroids so that they can win more games are beyond foolish. Athletes who push their teammates to do things that will ultimately hurt them are not true teammates.
Listen only to those individuals who truly want what is best for you athletically, socially, academically and, most important, spiritually. Don’t be the one to say, “I should have listened.” By then it will be too late!
1. Are you having a hard time listening to the right voices?
2. In your pursuit of better results, have you been guilty of doing things the wrong way?
3. How can you start today to listen to the right voices in your life?
Proverbs 5; James 1:19
Father, I want to make wise decisions. Tune my ear to recognize when I am receiving unwise counsel so that I can make the right choice. Place people in my life who can support me and counsel me with godly wisdom. Help me to keep my focus on eternal things. Thank You for the protection of Your Holy Spirit. Amen.