When Is Enough, Enough?
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
Running up the score, pressing until the final whistle, up 60, playing starters in the fourth quarter, scoring the tenth touchdown of the game, keeping your number-one goal scorer in to pad his/her stats … When is enough, enough? We see this in everyday sporting events, and it is beginning to creep into the youth sports movement. Ok, let me set the record straight. I am as competitive as the next person and have had my fair share of blowouts both for and against me in my days as a player and a coach, but where does compassion vs. competitiveness need to be addressed?
What if Christ turned the tables and showed us no compassion? What if we asked for forgiveness and He said "No"? What if when we were looking for a helping hand, He said, "Do it yourself"? Why is it that we expect God's mercy and compassion, but have very little to give of our own? He shows us His compassion according to the greatness of His love for us. Maybe we can do the same for someone else today.
Now, I don't want any team to lie down and roll over just to let another team compete with them, but consider everyone involved. Two schools, two teams, two coaching staffs and all the players participating will be affected by the outcome of the game. Games will be won and lost by all teams, but they can be won with dignity and compassion, as well. The answer to the question, "When is enough, enough?" lies within you.
If/when I get back into coaching, I will be faced with this issue again. I hope I do all I can to show compassion to my opponent while battling to the end trying my best to win the game. Compassion does not mean giving in, but acknowledging it and doing something about it. God has done that for you. Maybe it is your turn now.
1. What does compassion mean to you?
2. When can you show compassion without sacrificing performance?
3. Today, how can you start showing compassion in your life and in your sport?
1 Peter 3:8