Remaining Humble


“When arrogance comes, disgrace follows, but with humility comes wisdom.” – Proverbs 11:2


Former coach, the late John Wooden once said, “Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.”

Coach Wooden produced a wise lesson and, at the same time, a warning. God created each of us in His image, and all are unique. He creates athletes with skill sets and talents. When an athlete begins to rise to the top, fame follows. When fame follows, conceit and pride tend to trail behind. Like a bandit sneaking into a home, pride can invade an athlete’s heart without them noticing. When this happens, Coach Wooden’s quote becomes a reality.

As Christian athletes, we must always guard our hearts against pride and conceit. There are big moments for athletes: winning games, becoming a starter or team captain, signing to colleges, and even getting drafted into the big leagues. If we are not careful and on alert to pride, even the slightest accomplishment can steal away our humility and replace it with arrogance. When we begin to think that our skill, talent, accomplishments, athletic career and fame come from our doing, we fall to arrogance and pride. We must remain humble and maintain this wisdom: God has given it all.

When a personal record (PR) is hit, stay humble. When a home run wins the game, thank God. When a shot is made, fight against pride. When the news posts a flattering article, give God the glory. Even if the stadium chants your name, remember the name that gave us our name: God.

Be careful and stay on alert for arrogance, conceit, and pride. Lock them out and turn on all systems to protect your humility and heart. Everything is given by God and for God.

  • Why can we not take the credit when we do something good?
  • How encouraging is it that we are not in control, but God is?
  • How can you glorify God this week in your sport?

“God, I pray that if blessings come my way, I will remain humble. Please protect my heart against pride and conceit. I pray I remain humble and help others toward humility as well. May You get the glory every day! Amen.”