Among the many qualities that are true of you as a coach, is “faithful” one of them? Sadly, this quality isn’t always valued in sports culture today. But if you’re a coach who desires to live for Jesus, faithfulness is an important indicator of spiritual maturity. Faithfulness honors Christ.
That’s why faithfulness is listed in the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” As we continue our devotional series on the fruit of the Spirit, let’s consider what it means to exercise faithfulness as a coach.
Faithfulness is steadfast reliability motivated by unwavering commitment to a person or promise. Jesus illustrates this quality in Matthew 25:14-30. He tells a parable of a man who entrusts his three servants with portions of his wealth and then leaves on a journey. He gives the first servant five bags of silver, the second servant two bags, and the third servant one bag. The first servant took the five bags and earned five more. The second servant utilized the two bags to earn two more. The third servant, however, did nothing with the one bag he’d been given.
When the man returned from his journey and learned what the first servant and second servant had done with what was entrusted to them, his response to each was the same (vv. 21, 23): “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!” The man’s response to the third servant who did nothing stands in sharp contrast (vv. 26, 29): “You wicked and lazy servant! …[F]rom those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.”
Jesus’ point is clear: whatever situation we’re in – whether it seems like a “5 bags” or “2 bags” or even a “1 bag” situation – we can choose faithfulness. Whatever level you’re coaching at, with whatever amount of resources you have, including whatever pool of talent you’re working with – you can choose faithfulness that honors Christ and is rewarded by him. Returning to what we said faithfulness is, let’s think briefly about what this means as a coach.
Be motivated by an unwavering commitment to Jesus Christ as your Lord and King. Faithfulness happens through daily allegiance to Jesus rather than giving your devotion to the idols around us – such as the world’s definition of coaching success or the desire to promote ourselves. Feed this commitment by developing your relationship with Christ through studying the Bible, praying, actively participating in a good church, and meeting with an individual or group that can help you grow in your faith. Let your allegiance to King Jesus dictate your attitudes, words, and actions as you coach. May it be said of you even by those who don’t currently share your trust in Jesus, “Coach is unwavering in being committed to his/her faith!”
Be steadfastly reliable in living out the ways of Jesus with what he’s entrusted to you. Faithfully live according to the values and priorities of Jesus in the sphere of influence he’s given you. If you’re married, prioritize loving and serving your spouse rather than allowing coaching to “cheat” your marriage. If you’re a parent, prioritize loving and discipling your kids rather than only giving them the “leftovers” of your time and energy. With your players, let your character and values point them to Jesus and his love for them. May it be said of you, “Coach is so reliable in living the right way in every situation!”
Perhaps you’re currently coaching in a great situation, or maybe your present coaching situation is pretty tough. Regardless, you can choose steadfast reliability in living for Jesus motivated by an unwavering commitment to Christ as your King. As you do this day by day, week by week, and year by year, the Lord will say to you, “Well done, my good and faithful servant!”
For reflection: In what situations do you struggle to be faithful to Christ and his ways? Confess these to the Lord and ask him to continue to transform you. Thank him for his faithfulness to you.