“For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.” -- Matthew 12:34b


In 1998, the Ohio State Buckeyes beat Northwestern 36-10, but personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct tainted the win. OSU’s coach at the time, John Cooper, made a point to his number-one ranked team, emphasizing that there is no place in football for trash-talking and taunting and that it can be a distraction more than a help.

Discussing the numerous flags that were thrown during the game, Cooper demanded that the trash-talk behavior stop. “You can have a good, tough, hard-nosed football game without all that stuff,” Cooper said. “I think college football would want to do more to prevent trash-talking. It seems like we’re more worried about a guy celebrating in the end zone after a touchdown than with what else is going on during the game.”

Jesus said, “For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.” (Matthew 12:34b) Play with the character that’s reflective of a heart surrendered to the Lord.

It is not our accomplishments that influence others, but our character. Trash-talking means we must belittle others in order to build ourselves up as greater and better than them. That type of behavior is both unsportsmanlike and unworthy of a follower of Christ.

  • What is the spirit of your heart as you compete?
  • Is it easy for you to trash talk? If so, how do you think the Lord wants you to change such behavior?

“Lord, I need help with my mouth. Take total control of my heart. Amen.”