Watch out and be on guard against all greed, because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions.
At the beginning of every football season, Coach Tom Landry would give his players his priorities: God, family and football, in that order. By keeping these priorities, he avoided the madness and chaos that often consume a coach’s life.
These priorities provide great wisdom for us as we seek balance in our lives. When we keep first things first, we honor God and others around us, which helps us avoid relational destruction. Sadly, though, many coaches become “life losers” because they put their sport first and everything else second. They measure their self-worth by what they accomplish on the athletic field and by the wins they attain. In the process, everything else suffers. Their families fall apart, and they feel empty because their soul is not being nourished by a relationship with God.
Jesus warns us against getting caught in this web of deception. In fact, He says that at the heart of this “accomplishment complex” is personal greed. For coaches, this translates as an attitude in which the only ambition is winning. But when we approach life in this way, everyone becomes a pawn in our game. If they can’t produce for us, they become disposable. Family responsibilities become a nuisance, players who can’t perform have little worth, and coaches who can’t keep up are second-class citizens. This attitude produces a no-win season in God’s eyes because it puts another god before the one true God, Jesus Christ.
Putting Jesus first means keeping Him at the center of all we do, remembering that we were at the center of why He came to Earth! By keeping Him first, we can’t help but pursue excellence for His sake and keep our careers in proper perspective. Jesus wants to be our sole ambition—and when He is, our coaching will be better than ever!
1. How does knowing that God loves you unconditionally shape your perspective?
2. What were Jesus’ priorities?
3. What changes in your life can you make to reflect God’s priorities?
Gracious Father, turn my eyes away from the empty ambitions of this world so that I might see today the depths and riches of Your love in Christ Jesus! Amen.