While serving as a head junior varsity football coach at Todd County Central High School, the J.V. squad would practice with the Varsity. It was good for the younger kids to practice on a higher level and to see how Varsity differs from J.V. At the end of varsity practice, Brian Jones, the Head Varsity Coach, was gracious enough to allow me to keep the J.V. squad for a few additional minutes after practice to go over plays. I remember on the night before our first J.V. game, I gave the kids a “pep talk” about life and football using five key points of competition. The points that I used would work for any sport, and they also translate well to our spiritual lives.
Point 1: Effort – If we want to be better Christians, we must do the things that make us better Christians. We must read our Bibles, pray, follow Christ’s example and attend church regularly.
Point 2: Desire – We have to turn off the Xbox and pick up a Bible every now and then. We know the names of every contestant on American Idol, the stats of our favorite teams, and the lyrics of our favorite songs, but how many Bible verses can we quote? Do we know what God’s Word says about the tough questions in life?
Point 3: Responsibility – We can’t hide behind excuses. True winners accept responsibility. If you aren’t what you ought to be, why not fix it?
Point 4: Consistency – Bad habits develop naturally; you don’t usually have to do anything to develop them. Just do something “any ol’ way” and you’ll develop bad habits. Everything in life that’s good and worth having requires effort, and following Christ is no different. You live as close to the Lord as you decide to.
Point 5: Repetitions – Reps are the only way to correct bad habits. We must keep doing the right things because they are the right things to do.
This week, let’s pray for each other and ask God to work in these areas of our lives. Serving God is exciting, and we should be pumped about it! Today, let’s focus on Him and expect things to happen!
Rev. Scott Murphy is the Pastor at the First Christian Church in Russellville.