Where do we go from here?
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”
Leach, Leavitt, Mangino…Arenas, McGwire, Woods...These are just a few of the last names that have been in the sports pages recently for unbecoming conduct. Coaches who have reportedly lost their control both verbally and physically, and players who have reportedly lost their judgment, integrity and character. All of these men have fallen short of the standards set by their schools and teams and short of the vows by which they agreed they would live and coach.
These sports issues all fall under what I call the “323 Syndrome,” or, better stated, Romans 3:23: “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” That includes not only those mentioned above, but you and me, too. Before we throw verbal attacks and insults at these guys and their situations, we need to stop and take a good, hard look in the mirror.
Yes, all of these men, if the reports are accurate, did wrongful things. They hurt their sports, teams, careers and families. But where do they go from here? As onlookers, we can continue to berate and belittle these men, believing they will never change, but that doesn’t change the fact that God’s grace extends to them as well as it extends to you and me. In light of the fact that we are all sinners who have fallen short of God’s standard, I would hope that we would view these men and ourselves through the eyes of the Lord and see His love for us all. Then, instead of judging and condemning, we can pray for them—for their repentance, their restoration and their return to what God has gifted them each uniquely to do.
So, in the world of sports, where do we go from here? One suggestion: to our knees. Let’s pray to our God who continues to hate sin but love us sinners and who longs to restore, rebuild and re-equip our hearts every day.
1. What do you feel and think when you see negative sports headlines? Do you judge and condemn those who have sinned?
2. Why is it so easy to judge others, but so painful to be judged ourselves?
3. Do you compare your sins to those of others? How does God view all sin?
Romans 5 and 6