“I can’t count on the people I can’t count on.” I’ll never forget those words from my high school coach. At various times in my four years under him as a player, he spoke those words as both a caution and a threat. It was a caution: those who are not prepared, on and off the field, can’t be counted on to help the team when it matters most. It was a threat: if you prove you are untrustworthy off the field, don’t expect to be playing on the field.

His line of thinking goes back to some ancient wisdom.

Proverbs 25:19–“Like a bad tooth and an unsteady foot is confidence in a faithless man in time of trouble.”

Trying to count on someone who has proven he cannot be counted on…that’s like having an unending toothache or stumbling with every step. In other words, it’s painful, annoying, unreliable, and only causes problems.

Far more crucial than a late-inning situation is the reality of life’s difficulties and pains. During such times, you and I need faithful, reliable people to help us. During such times, you can’t count on the people you can’t count on.

Two thoughts to consider: Can you count on the people you’re counting on? Can the people counting on you truly count on you? Study their faithfulness (read: godliness). Study yours. When the game is on the line (life, that is), it’s only those whose lives are truly anchored in Jesus Christ that can prove truly faithful. Apart from him, none of us can be counted on.

Lord Jesus, make me as faithful as you are. Amen.