Quick, list the five qualities of a great teammate. Coach, what are the ideal characteristics you want to see in every player?Hard worker. Dependable. Selfless. What would you put on the list?
What if those things don’t reveal who a person really is? What if a person’s true character is seen in something more foundational?
Coach, I think Proverbs 30:11 gives a way to find out who a player really is.
“There is a kind of man who curses his father, and does not bless his mother.”
In Proverbs 30, the author is simply making observations. He highlights just the way things are, good or bad, wise or foolish. So, verse 11 doesn’t give any particular instruction, but simply states a fact. Some people treat their parents with contempt or disregard.
Here are three implications:
1. A player who treats his parents with contempt or disregard will do that to other leaders. He’s about himself. He won’t submit to leadership and authority. He can’t be a good teammate. He can’t be a leader. He will eventually let you down. He’s not the guy you want on your team.
2. A player who treats his parents with contempt or disregard is not teachable. He won’t listen. He won’t make adjustments. He believes he has all the understanding and knowledge there is to have. He’s not the guy you want on your team.
3. A player who treats his parents with contempt or disregard will be undisciplined. He does what he wants. He says what he wants. He doesn’t care what’s truly right and best. Instead, he operates by his own, often changing, compass. He doesn’t like discipline to be imposed on him. He’s not the guy you want on your team.
Here are two steps to take:
1. If you’re a player…I don’t know your parents, don’t know how they treat you, don’t know all you’ve been through. They might be great. They might be awful. It doesn’t matter when it comes to the choices you make. Your responsibility before God is to honor them, even if honoring them simply means a refusal to treat them with contempt or disregard. This week, make a choice to change how you speak to and about them. Nowhere will your character be shaped more than in the relationship you have with your parents.
2. If you’re a coach…pay attention to how a player treats his parents. Talk about it. Raise the bar in your program. They will be his parents longer than you’ll be his coach. His character is on the line. How he treats his parents is how he will approach every other leader in his life, for better or worse.
Lord Jesus, as a player, help me to honor my parents, whatever that involves. As a coach, show me how to help my players with this. Amen.