Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9

When Jesus gave us the eight Beatitudes in the book of Matthew, He gave us incredible keys to a fulfilling life that honors Him.  While His promises are great, some of them are extremely challenging to live out.  Outside of coaching, there may not be another environment that creates more unintended conflict than standing on the sidelines and leading a team.

In all my years of coaching, I have never tried to create conflict.  But, when you need to make split-second decisions in such a condensed timeframe, with limited information, conflict is inevitable. It’s one of the reasons many great coaches walk away, because there are many unmet expectations and misunderstood decisions that lead to strife.

I love the Beatitude where Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” because it implies that peace is something that needs to be made, and not kept. Although I find this Beatitude to be remarkably challenging, if I commit to ask the Holy Spirit to guide me to make peace, it can bring glory to God, and benefit my life and the lives of others.

As I think about the intense environment of coaching in today’s world, I find this Beatitude to be increasingly more important in my life. One aspect of being a successful Christian coach is the ability to make peace, at times when it is easier to avoid conflict and ignore a broken relationship. Coaching isn’t about avoiding hard decisions, because as a leader you must make them. But, when those decisions lead to discord, God implores us to go back and make peace.

As I embark upon the summer lacrosse season, my selfish tendency is to put on a big hat and sunglasses and hide in a tent, because there are a few people that I may want to avoid at these tournaments.  However, it can be restorative to seek out people who may have questioned a coaching decision I’ve made over the years or disagreed with my opinion, and to be a peacemaker, rather than allow for animosity and division to continue.

As I am open to where God wants me to represent Him well, maybe there are places in your own life that God wants you to examine, too.  When we accept that challenge of making peace, we can be certain that we will BE blessed!

Since 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ – to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.

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