“People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart.”
– Proverbs 21:2
How many times have we heard a coach say, “Sports build character?” In his book, Inside/Out Coaching, Joe Ehrmann calls this one of the great myths in America. Most of us would probably agree that they can and should, but all too often the experience falls short of what it could be. Ehrmann goes on to say, “Sports don’t build character unless a coach possesses character and intentionally teaches it.” Now there’s something to chew on for a while. I got into coaching because I loved to compete and wanted to stay close to the game, but I also became a coach because I loved, admired and looked up to the men and women who made it a positive experience for me. They encouraged me, put my needs above their own and cared about me as a person more than they did as an athlete. They were positive examples of character because they lived it. Sports were good for me because my coaches were good for me. Because character was important to them, it became important to me.
Today’s verse forces us to ask some tough questions. Are we in it for ourselves or for the athletes we are called to serve? Why do we do what we do? Our outward appearance can deceive others and we can even fool ourselves for a while, but God knows our motives. God knows our heart! In the end, it’s not what the world thinks of us, but what God will say to us when we stand before Him. We should all strive to hear those words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Father, thank You for putting men and women in my life who have modeled the true meaning of character. Make me intentional in being a person of character to those whom I influence. Amen.