Whenever a team I coach takes the field, I emphasize a few important points I want them to consider during the game that is about to unfold. Recently, our focus was on how to respond after we make a mistake. I challenged the boys to play three seconds of great lacrosse after every mistake they make on the field. During one of our games, a player made an awful decision which had me in disbelief. However, immediately after that play, he hustled and made a spectacular play that allowed our team to quickly regain possession. It was incredible to see how he had applied the precepts of the lesson and met my challenge.
In life, things often don’t go the way we hope they would. Sometimes our sinful nature gets the best of us and we fall into temptation. In one of the most told stories of the Bible, David is esteemed by many when he conquers Goliath. Unfortunately, later in his life David falls into temptation and makes many poor decisions. David not only wrongly pursued Bathsheba who was married, but his sin pattern continued and led to a path of destruction. In fact, he continued on by deceptive actions that eventually lead to the death of Uriah the Hittite (Bathsheba’s husband). David made mistakes, but rather than immediately turning to God, he made several more mistakes to cover up his sin. It would eventually take a visit from the prophet Nathan to show David the magnitude of his sin.
Psalm 51:1 is David’s response after he becomes convicted by his sin:
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
David’s life and the lives of many others would have been spared much sorrow had he made better choices after his initial fall. In sports and in life, we will make bad decisions and sin. If we respond to our mistakes by acknowledging them before they become compounded, and ask for forgiveness, then we can get back on the path God has designed for us. Asking God to give us His strength immediately, can help our sinful action not develop into a sinful pattern.
The three seconds after we sin, and the decisions we make next are critical as we strive to please God in all aspects of our life!
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.
More information can be found at FCA.org.