Winning Isn’t the Only Thing


He chose David His servant and took him from the sheepfolds; He brought him from tending ewes to be shepherd over His people Jacob—over Israel, His inheritance. He shepherded them with a pure heart and guided them with His skillful hands. — Psalm 78:70–72

There is an article I’ll probably keep my entire life. It’s an article about a coach whose team had made it to the state title game, only to learn they had an ineligible player. The coach had a decision to make—keep the information quiet and prepare for the championship, or contact the state association and have the season end on a forfeit. The coach maintained his integrity and informed the state.
In today’s verses we learn that David led the nation of Israel in two ways. One way was with a pure heart, a heart of honesty and integrity. I’m sure David—but more importantly God—would be greatly pleased with the pure heart exhibited by the coach who was honest about his team. That had to be a tough decision, one that was probably frowned upon by some in the school and community. As the Apostle Paul once wrote, “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” (Gal 1:10).
The second way David guided Israel was with skillful hands. God cares that His coaches are good coaches. Not winning ones, but good ones. Coaches who work hard at their job, are other-centered, give all they have according to their ability, and aren’t just padding a teaching salary. Scripture teaches, “And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Col 3:17).
God is honored when we utilize the gifts He’s given us, unless they become idols in our lives. God is honored when our vocations become acts of worship. God is honored when Christian coaches combine integrity with effort in a positive
reflection of Christ.
1. When are coaches most tempted to compromise their faith?
2. Is it difficult to view coaching as worship? Explain.
3. How does Romans 12:1 and 1 Corinthians 10:31 relate to coaching?

Ephesians 6:5–9; Colossians 3:23–24


Father, grant me the grace to coach with a pure heart and skillful hands. Amen.