In 1996, I attended the last regular-season home game Ozzie Smith ever played. The Cardinals went on to the playoffs that year, but the Wizard’s days were numbered. A young, up-and-coming shortstop named Royce Clayton was selected by Manager Tony LaRussa to displace Smith, the future Hall-of-Famer. All season, Ozzie looked over his shoulder to see Clayton gaining on him, knowing he would be supplanted by the younger player.

The point here is not whether replacing the Wizard was the right move (it wasn’t…Clayton never lived up to his potential), but to illustrate that all of us have issues lurking over our shoulders.

Sadly, some of us create them on our own. Proverbs 28:1–“The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are bold as a lion” (NASB).

Those who aren’t doing what is right, whether on or off the field, will eventually develop a guilty conscience and will always feel as if they are just outrunning the consequences of their actions. Indeed, they are.

Those, however, who operate with integrity  on and off the field, have nothing to worry about. They live confidently in the Lord and know that He will defend them in the event their character is called into question.

This begs the question: do you find yourself looking over your shoulder, waiting for the consequences of your actions to catch up with you, hoping to outrun them, trying to cover them up?

What area of your character as a person, player, coach, or parent needs to be submitted to Jesus? You don’t have to look over your shoulder any more. Jesus died to cancel the power and penalty of sin in your life.

Here’s a prayer:

Lord Jesus, when I look over my shoulder, I want to see you, not all the mistakes I’ve made. Please surround me with your love and grace and forgive my sins. I want to live confidently in you. Make me righteous and bold. Amen.