Humble Champion


“Do you not know? Have you not heard? Yahweh is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never grows faint or weary; there is no limit to His understanding.” -Isaiah 40:28


How many times do we see football players cross the goal line and do some sort of celebration? Either they try to bring attention to themselves through some crazy stunt, or they point to the sky in order to bring attention to someone else. In those situations, we Christians get all excited and say, “Look! They are giving God the glory.” Maybe they are, and maybe they’re not. The only person who knows for sure is the one with his finger in the air.

These days it seems like even humble acts are brought under the microscope. Even players who seem humble, or intend to be, wind up diving into pride. It’s hard to be humble when everybody around you is feeding your ego.

It’s no different for coaches, either. If you are a coach, can you honestly say you have never looked at a losing program and thought, “I could turn that program around and win a state title in no time flat”?

Just like every other coach, I’ve been turned down for my share of head coaching jobs. The first one was at a large high school in a large city. I saw the talent walking the hallways, and I knew I could win a title in four years. When I didn’t get the job, I was bitter, and I thought the school just didn’t know who I was. In my mind and heart I thought it was their loss.

In a couple of years, I was turned down again by a large school in the suburb of a large city. This time, though, my prayer throughout the interview process was that God would put HIS coach in the position. I didn’t get the job, but I did serve as an assistant to the coach who beat me out. In my heart, I had total peace because I knew that God’s will had been done.

I wish I had read the last line of the FCA Coach’s Mandate a lot earlier in my career. It says, “Coach with a humble gratitude as one privileged to be God’s coach.” If I’d had that mindset, it would have taken away a lot of bitterness and helped me to be focused in the right way.

When we look at coaching or competing as a gift from God, one question comes up. As sinful men and women, who are we to take any glory from God? Compared to God, we are a lot less important than we think we are. Today, if you struggle with pride in your position, remember the words of Isaiah 40:28 and keep in mind who is God and who is not. We’re privileged to be HIS coaches and athletes.

  1. What is the true reason you participate in sports?
  2. Who is truly responsible for your athletic ability?
  3. How do people know you are a child of God?
  • 2 Chronicles 7:14
  • Psalm 90:2
  • Proverbs 16:18

“Father God, today we thank You for allowing us to be a small part of Your greater plan.”

Bible Reference: 
Isaiah 40