Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Life Lessons from Football (Part 3)

Finally, football can teach one to be a team player. We do not make it through life alone. Like a football team, we are interdependent.

In order to be a team player, we need to

1. Accept responsibility. The quarterback cannot do the job of the center. The right guard cannot do the job of the wide receiver. Everyone has a different role. When we fulfill our own responsibilities, we help the team. A Heisman Trophy winner does not win a football game. A team wins a football game when each player does his part. A football team, family, business, or church will succeed when it is comprised of responsible individuals within it; it will fail when someone is irresponsible.

2. Follow the rules. When an infraction occurs, the entire team suffers the penalty. When the rules are followed, the entire team can play up to its potential. When an executive or accountant breaks the law, a company can be destroyed. Everyone suffers unemployment. When the rules are followed, it can prosper. When a Christian cheats and lies, an entire congregation can be destroyed by the ensuing fighting and bad reputation of the church. The Bible contains the rules for living a good life. Our attitudes toward it should be: "I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word" (Psalm 119:16).

3. Live with humility. Mistakes will be made. We need to learn from them and adjust our ways in order to avoid them. We need to listen to those who have more experience and wisdom. They can help us to avoid and correct our mistakes. We also need to be forgiving toward those who have made mistakes. They will need correction, but they will also need forgiveness. An unforgiving and proud team is heading for disaster. An unforgiving and proud family will be torn apart. When we see ourselves as we are and treat others properly, we will be winners on the football field and in life. Former coach Tony Dungy has said, "True respect starts with the way you treat others, and it is earned over a lifetime of acting with kindness, honor, and dignity" (Uncommon, page 178).


Dusty Chris said...

Football also teaches us that we aren't going to win all the time, but even if we lose, it's not the end of the world. My team in high school got beat 92-0 by a superior team. My team was like a bad news bears team (I was the starting guard at 6'1, 130 lbs). It was 64-0 at half time and we were laughing because it was so bad.

At so point in life, the odds will be against you and instead of giving up, you have to laugh and say, "I'll do my best, even though I am going to get beat up."

Terry said...

Ouch. That had to hurt. But you're right. We can't win all the time. We will always come across those who are better than we are at some points in life.