Coaches Help Us Train

Athletes even at the highest levels practice constantly. They train both their bodies and their minds. They intentionally develop “muscle memory” such that the muscles act and react in the heat of the competition in the correct way just as trained.

Minds must also be trained. Focus on the important things is required. The higher the level of competition, the more intense the focus. An offensive lineman in American football may be trained to focus just on the position of the feet of his opponent whom he must block before the ball is put into play.

Many athletes have talent. Many also never develop that talent. They don’t practice. They fail to focus. They don’t care to learn.

There are few things more disappointing than to see someone who has talent, gifts, and opportunity, and fails to achieve what could have been.

Often it is simply due to laziness. They just don’t do the work. Sometimes, it is due to a misplaced or mistimed word. Someone says something negative that the person just cannot overcome.

If we know someone who is not developing, it is our duty to mentor that person. Say the appropriate word. Give a supporting comment. Or give the appropriate “kick in the pants” to get them off the lazy, unfocused path.

At the end of Chapter 8 of 1 Corinthians, Paul talks about being aware of our brothers. Instead of thinking “it’s all about me,” he encourages us not to do something (or say something) that would cause a brother or sister to fail. I think this applies often to us today. We know the power of words and relationship. We know that by considering others instead of just being wrapped up in our own cares we can save many a person from a path of destruction and despair; instead freeing them to fulfill their potential.

All great athletes have great coaches who guide them; all Christ-followers need a mentor to encourage them.

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