Every coach knows it when he sees it. That player who simply nods at instruction and doesn’t really receive it. “I’ve got this, coach,” he thinks. “If you would only look at the numbers I put up last year, you’d figure out I don’t have much to learn at this point.” That defines the uncoachable player. He knows all and needs no correction or instruction from the so-called coach.

Every player knows it when he sees it. The coach who doesn’t listen, who only loves to express what he knows. “You should listen to me alone. I’m the one who can get you to where you need to be. No one else gets it.” That defines the unteachable coach. He knows all and needs only to be heard.

It really is a two-way street. There are uncoachable players and there are unteachable coaches. Neither are as good as they think they are. Neither is helpful to a team. Neither is really concerned about anyone but himself. Neither seems to recognize this, unfortunately.

Sadly, this is true outside of baseball. It’s true in life. Proverbs 26:12 puts it this way: “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” The book of Proverbs holds up the “fool” as the person who doesn’t follow the Lord, doesn’t want any instruction, and does whatever he wants. There seems to be no one more lost than him. Except one: the person who thinks he has arrived.

To be wise in your own eyes is to be uncoachable, unteachable, and convinced of your own self-sufficiency. This person is a fool and doesn’t know it. Believing himself to be supreme, he never listens (or just pretends to), he relies only on what he thinks he already knows, and he never makes suggested corrections. This person is far from God and doesn’t realize it.

In baseball, the challenge is to be coachable as a player and teachable as a coach. In life, which is far more important, the challenge is to humble yourself before Jesus, admit your utter inadequacy and foolishness apart from Him, and surrender to His wisdom and will for your life. Apart from doing so, you’re a person who is lost and may not even know it.

Here’s a prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to be coachable and teachable on the field. More importantly, I want your wisdom and direction in my life. I confess my tendency to view myself as having arrived, as no longer in need of wisdom from anyone but me. Change me. Amen.