Despite having several pregame and in-game rituals as a player, I don’t believe in karma. The idea of karma doesn’t work with the truth of Jesus. Karma says you’ll get what you deserve. Jesus says his grace gives you what you don’t deserve. Karma says eventually you’ll get rewarded for doing good things. Scripture tells us we can’t be good enough, and don’t have to be, since Jesus was on our behalf.

So, I believe in grace, not karma. With that said, it’s obviously impossible to deny that the choices we make have very real consequences in our lives, both positively and negatively.

Proverbs 26:27 puts it this way: He who digs a pit will fall into it, and he who rolls a stone, it will come back on him.

The idea here is carelessness and arrogance. Eventually, those who are careless and arrogant will deal with the negative (and potentially devastating) results of such choices.

Here are three signs you might be heading down a careless and arrogant path.

1: You shun hard work, but expect to be great. The hard work of coaching involves planning for practice and games, fund-raising, learning new ways to explain things, being patient with players and their parents, communicating incessantly, and the list goes on and on. If you’re a coach and you don’t work hard at those things, expect the stone to roll back on you and crush you. The hard work of playing involves strength and speed training, repetitive drills that often feel pointless, showing up early, leaving late, dedication when no one is watching, and lots more. If you’re a coach or player and you don’t work hard at these things, expect the stone of failure and under-achievement to roll back and crush you.

2: You talk about people behind their backs. Not only is this careless (undisciplined), arrogant (as if you are perfect), but it’s also rude  and cowardly. in a sense, those players or coaches you’re talking about…well, you’re digging a pit for them, hoping everyone else will shove them in. Unfortunately, a very real possibility is that those words catch up to you and you stand there one day with your foot in your mouth having to no defense for your behavior. I’ve been there. It’s not fun.

3: You think you are immune to the natural consequences of your choices, so you keep doing whatever you want. This isn’t about karma, as I mentioned before. And, the grace of Jesus is available and capable to cleanse you from any and all sin and unwise choices. But, those who believe that they can do whatever and live however they want without that eventually having a negative effect on them are careless and arrogant. In a sense, they dig pits all around them, roll stones up unstable hills, and then think they are smart enough, good enough, talented enough, or whatever enough to get away with it in the long run.

My prayer for you as a coach or player is not that you’ll deal with consequences, but that you’ll experience the love and grace of Jesus so that you’ll then live in a wise and humble manner before him and others.

Lord Jesus, show me clearly my careless and arrogant thoughts, choices, and behaviors. Thank you for your grace, that because of the cross, I don’t get what I deserve but I get what I could never earn. Help me to walk clear of the pits and stones that would wreak havoc on my life.