Live with Substance

Coach, there can hardly be a greater honor than having your players say this about you: “I want my life to look like Coach’s life.”  For this to be true, you must be about more than achieving success in sports or looking a certain way or merely saying the right things.  As we considered in the last devotion, your leadership must have substance.  But it goes beyond leadership: your life as a whole must have genuine substance.  How does this happen?

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for “glory” literally means “heavy” or “weighty.”  Accordingly, when the Bible says that someone is glorious, it conveys the sense that there is such significant “weightiness” to their character and what they’ve done that they are worthy to be honored, praised, and valued.  They are someone of great substance.

The One who is most glorious by far is God himself.  “Who is the King of glory?  The Lord Almighty – he is the King of glory” (Psalm 24:10).  Because the glorious God desires for us to know him, he sent his Son Jesus to reveal himself to us.  God through Jesus “became human and made his home among us.  He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.  And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son” (John 1:14).

When we turn away from living for ourselves or other things and instead surrender our lives in faith to Jesus Christ, we enter into a relationship with the Lord.  Our identity and purpose is transformed.  We’re now a son or daughter of the King of glory, and our ultimate purpose is to live for his glory.  “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).

To “do it all for the glory of God” comes down to this: living in a way that honors the One who is most worthy of being revered and esteemed, exalts the One who is most worthy of being praised and celebrated, and values the One who is most worthy of being the focus and motivation for how we live.

“Whatever you do” includes how we approach coaching.  We coach with character that reflects who God is.  We view and treat players, other coaches, parents, administrators, and everyone else in the same way God views and treats them.  Our goals as a coach mirror what’s most important in God’s kingdom.  Our genuine desire is not to draw attention to ourselves but to point people to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  We hunger for those we influence to experience the same salvation, life, and eternal value that the Lord has given to us.

Coach, don’t settle for being about lesser – or “lighter” – things.  Let the “weightiness” of who God is and what he’s done drive how you coach and how you live.  This is what brings real substance to your life.  And when your life has the substance of living for God’s glory, you give those you coach the opportunity to see and emulate what truly matters.  You point them to the One who is most worthy to be honored, praised, and valued – so that their life can have eternal substance as well.

For reflection:  Consider building this simple prayer into the routine of how you start each day – “King of glory, I praise you.  Whatever I do today, help me to do it all for your glory.”