“'For I know the plans I have for you'—this is the LORD’s declaration—'plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'” — Jeremiah 29:11
What does a basketball coach look for in his players when he walks into the gym before practice or a game? Perhaps what pleases the coach most is to see his players continuing to hone the skills that contribute to the team playing their best—shooting, dribbling, and passing. It would be disappointing if he were to observe the players constantly working on the art of spinning the ball on their fingers.
Clearly, the object or purpose of a basketball is to shoot it into the opponent’s basket more than the opponent can shoot it into one’s own basket. While someone might be able to spin a basketball on his finger with outstanding skill, he is not using the ball for its intended purpose. Never in a game has a coach inserted a player simply because he was the best on his team at spinning the ball on his finger. Coaches know that this particular skill does not accomplish anything toward scoring points for his or her team.
God has blessed each of us with gifts and talents. He also has given us opportunities and placed us in specific settings to use these gifts and talents for their intended purpose. We must honestly look at our lives and be mindful of what we have been given. We must then ask our heavenly Coach how He intends for us to best use these gifts and talents, and be ready to listen for His answer.
1. What are the gifts God has given you as a coach?
2. What is one situation in which He has placed you where you knew you were carrying out His purpose?
3. Who are the players that He has entrusted to you, and why has He done so?
Esther 4:14; 2 Corinthians 5:1–10
Thank You, God, for giving me gifts and talents. Help me see the situations in which You place me for the purpose of using my gifts for Your glory. Allow me to coach and lead in such a way that people are drawn to You. Amen.