Forgiving the Unbecoming


“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.” – Psalm 139:23–24


Many years ago, when I was coaching for National University in the Philippines, I chewed out one of my players during a timeout. Afterward, it hit me that what I had done was not honorable, and not worthy of a coach.

What made me do it?

I remembered that before the game, I had watched on TV a coach whom I admired, berating his player for missing a defensive assignment. I had copied what he had done even when it was demeaning and destructive. I committed to never do it again, and God in His grace did not allow me to repeat such a regrettable incident in my coaching career.

About 20 years later, when I was the deputy commissioner of the league, all the former players of National University came to support the team when they entered the finals. I saw my former player whom I had berated, and I pulled him aside so I could apologize and ask for his forgiveness. He said he couldn’t even remember the incident. Yet, I humbled myself before him because what I had done was not right.

Asking for forgiveness was liberating! Confession led to repentance and to restoration. After that, I hugged him like I would my son.

  • Have you ever released words as a coach or competitor that are life-draining for your athletes or teammates?
  • How are you influenced by other coaches or athletes?
  • How can you control yourself in tight situations?

“Father, help me not to follow the standards of this world but rather to follow Your ways when it comes to my behavior as a coach or competitor on and off the court. May I be an inspiration and blessing to those around me by the way I speak and act. May I build Your kingdom in everything that I do. Amen.”