Let’s be honest. Only the best players will get attention in the long run. Only the best players get their name in the paper consistently. Only the best players move up to the next level. Only the best players make it to the Big Leagues. Only the best players are remembered.

But, what about the rest of us? What about when sports are over? What about the guy who sat the bench? What about those who are just ordinary players and coaches?

Here’s some encouragement from Proverbs 16:32–“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city” (NASB).

Read that again and let it sink in.

Talent, power, influence, being the best…all those things take a back seat to a person who is mature, who knows how to control himself. That’s amazing. In God’s eyes, which see each heart, spiritual maturity is far more important than pure ability.

You may or may not be the best player or coach. Hear this: it doesn’t matter to God. He’s looking far beyond your skill on the field. Being the best without being in control of yourself is worthless. Yes, worthless. Just read that verse again.

Submit yourself to the Lord, let Him get control of your spirit and your actions. Don’t miss what is most important while you chase illusions of being the best.

Here’s a prayer:

Lord Jesus, I don’t want to gain the whole world and lose my soul. I don’t want to be “mighty” or able to “capture a city” and fail to be in control of my anger and my spirit. I don’t want to be the best on the field and be a complete failure in what really matters. Help me, I pray. Live through me. Amen.