A Bad Seed or a Shining Star?


"Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross." — Philippians 2:3–8


Pride is a state of mind vital for any champion to have—pride in yourself, your accomplishments, your team, and your school. But there is a flip side to pride—boasting and self-interest that can bring a championship-caliber team to its knees. So how does a coach ensure his or her team does not fall into the negative state of pride? Humility. Webster defines humility as modesty in self-examination and humbleness. For a Christian, the definition is simpler—to become like Christ. Jesus had every opportunity to boast and brag. After all, he was the Son of God.

Instead, he humbled himself as “a slave.” Jesus is the model for Christians to follow, especially in humility. He allowed Himself to be beaten and ridiculed, and then died a most horrific death.

How does humility assist someone in athletics? It develops a strong work ethic, enables someone to be coachable, and makes a person pleasant to be around. Through humility, a player can overcome the trap of pride that leads to destruction. He or she will be accepted by coaches and teammates, and will be viewed as a positive influence for the team.


1. How can a coach teach humility to his or her players?
2. Is there any time that pride in individual accomplishments can be beneficial in a team sport?


Extra Reading: 2 Kings 19:22; Job 20:6; Proverbs 11:2


Heavenly Father, help me keep my pride from interfering with Your wisdom. Allow me to have humility so that I will learn to work hard, be coachable, and be pleasant to be around. Help me to model my life after Jesus. Amen.

*Devotion inspired by a sermon by Pastor Jim Wofford, Highland United Methodist Church.