Competitive Spirit

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Nicholas25, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. Nicholas25

    Nicholas25
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    I love the Lord Jesus Christ with all of my heart, mind, body and soul and I want to conduct myself in a way that is pleasing to him and the way the Bible teaches Christians should. Having said all of that I really struggle to conduct myself with Christian love, compassion and meekness while playing or coaching sports. Tonight (Thursday) I had a basketball game in a league and I didn't act like a Christian. I didn't cuss or anything like that but I did yell crap real loud a couple of times and slammed the ball on the court once. We are in the playoffs in the league and if we would have lost tonight our season would have been over so everyone wanted to win bad but I realize that is no excuse. I am going to school to be a Special Education teacher and ball coach. I have got to pray hard between now and then asking for the Lord to help me keep my competitive nature but to channel it in a different way. I don't want to make a fool of myself or do anything that would hurt my testimony. Have any of you gentleman or ladies struggled with being Christ-like in competitive situations? If so how did you deal with it?
     
  2. Helen

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    Yes. I used to dive (diving board) competition.

    Let me ask you this: why are you involved sports?

    That is NOT a critical question, but the answer to it in your own heart may also help you know why you are having a hard time in competition.
     
  3. Nicholas25

    Nicholas25
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    I am 25 years old and have loved sports my entire life. I played basketball and baseball in high school and baseball in college. I have assisted in coaching baseball teams and ran a baseball camp for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders 2 weeks ago. I want to do well and want to win. I know one can be a positive example for Christ on the ball field or ball court but I need to improve through the Lord in this area.
     
  4. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    I have coached Pee Wee (and Pop Warner) football for several years. One of the things the parents and refs noticed is that I don't get angry. I do get excited, and I yell in encouragement. It seems to say a lot, although it was not intentional; it's just the way I am. (Well, at least most of the time!)

    This has also been beneficial when I talk to the refs. They tend to listen a lot better when you are speaking calmly and ask a question, or simply say, "Number 88 is face-masking on every play".
     
  5. rjprince

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    imo having a competitive nature and playing hard is OK. But in all things, the Love of Christ should be seen in our live above all else. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if you have love one to another."

    Anybody can get upset in competitive sports, but it takes a real man to manifest the Spirit of Christ in the face of cheating or other types of foul play.

    Pr 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
     
  6. J. Jump

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    I coached basketball on the college and high school level for several years. Unfortunately, there were times that I did not paint a very accurate portrait of Christ with my actions. I believe that is one of a number of reasons God removed me from that profession about four years ago.

    I definitely learned a lot looking back on those years!
     
  7. bapmom

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    There is some merit to the idea of getting yourself out of the competition scenario if you are just unable to handle it in a Christ-like manner. Ive known some very good men who realized they had a real problem in that area and so they took themselves out of it in order to preserve a good testimony.

    That being said, Ive also seen good men, from good churches, in coaching positions who gave an awful testimony during game time. Its been hugely disappointing for me as one who sits on many a sideline and sees these coaches acting like......frankly......jerks. Getting angry is one thing, but handling it by becoming contentious, argumentative, and/or rude is entirely different.....especially if its happening on a regular basis.

    Their teenagers see it on the court and get the impression that when it comes to competition (stress) than its ok to lose control of yourself. OR the teenagers are highly embarrassed by the actions of their coach.
     
  8. whatever

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  9. gb93433

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    When the competition begins the training has already been done. So leave the training behind and be a coach at the game. The players know when they did something wrong or something they did not like which happened.

    When I was in high school I had a wrestling coach who would make us run and run and run. Seldom did we ever lose a match. That coach coached for many years at the same high school. One time I saw him forfeit a match because one of our wrestlers was so much betetr than his opponent and humiliateed the other wrestler. Our wrestler was told that he would not werestle for the next two weeks. I learned one of life's lessons watching what my coach did.

    I was not a very good wrestler but I gave it my best and he acknowledged that publically and privately. In fact, I questioned whether I should go out for wrestling the next year. Because of his encouragement I am glad I returned and did much better. My home life was horrible. In my coach I found encouragement. I teach today because of men like him who helped me to feel what it is like to be encouraged. Once I left high school I went onto bicylcle race and did very well. I attribute it to that one point in time when I went out for wrestling.

    A few years ago my daughter went out for track and many times came in last or next to the last. She thought about quitting. I told her that she must finish the season. At the county meet she came in third place. She had improved and learned what it felt like to endure and win. She is an excellent student and now knows what it is like to lose and endure.

    Coaching is least about winning but most about building them for life. If a coach has trained his team well, the competition is just a matter of doing what they have been taught.

    I teach now and my students will tell you that I am tough when it comes to studying and knowing the material. But when it comes to helping students I want to be best cheerleader. I want them to succeed well. I want them to be number one. But when they do not do very well, I will do whatever it takes to help them even if it means tutoring them every day.

    You should expect to be competitive, but also expect of yourself to be a gentleman showing your players what a true athlete looks like. One of the greatest things they can learn is to take a loss graciously. Nobody likes to see an arrogant loser or winner.

    A teacher and coach has the ability to tear students down or build them up. Students and employees will work hard when they know someone cares and builds them up. They will give their best to the person who encourages them the most.

    At the church I attend is a man who owns a billion dollar a year company which he and another man started from scratch about 40 years ago. People want to work for him because he encourages them. He gets the best people too. He will tell people privately and in public that he has great employees it is they who make the company run.

    Nobody is a winner alone.
     
  10. Craigbythesea

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    From my personal perspective and my interpretation of what I have perceived, competitive sports are antithetical to the Christian faith where we are not in competition with each other or unsaved individuals, but with the powers of darkness. And if there ever was a tool of the powers of darkness to distract Christians from their real competitor, it is sports.

    I have personally witnessed pastors cutting their sermons short, with absolute and total disregard for the ministry of the Holy Spirit, so that their congregations would not miss the first few minutes of a ballgame on television. I have personally witnessed Christians paying $35 a seat to watch a football game in a stadium full of riotous drunks and fools rather than give that money to a needy family in their church. And I have personally witnessed countless Christians publicly lose their testimony for Christ just to score another point in a game!

    I personally know of a minister of evangelism in a Baptist church who has turned his church’s youth center into a kick-boxing gym with absolutely no spiritual programs. When that church hired a youth pastor and dismissed the janitor who was part of that kick-boxing gym to pay the salary of the hardworking youth pastor, the minister of evangelism, who has not led one person to Christ or brought one person from the kick-boxing gym into the church, threw a fit and began going to the board members of the church in a very destructive effort to get rid of both the youth pastor and the senior pastor who hired him. All of this happened for only one reason—the minister of evangelism got caught up in the very competitive sport of kick-boxing as a youth and he is so obsessed with sports that he is not only a total failure as a minister of evangelism, for which he earned a master’s degree from an outstanding seminary, but he is destroying his own church—over a sport!

    Christians are not to compete with one another, but to buildup one another in love. And when Christians forget who it is that they are to be competing against and get caught up competing against each other and against the people whom they are to be evangelizing, something is deadly wrong.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Helen

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    Hi Nicholas,

    I asked the question in the beginning because I came to the conclusion -- at about your age -- that the main thing was to have fun. To enjoy the kids you are working with, enjoy the game, do the best you and they can, and have a great pizza afterwards! There is training involved, and, as Craig mentioned, there are an awful lot of people who take it all so seriously that their lives revolve around it.

    But even Paul mentioned running the race. Competition is not unbiblical in and of itself, but the attitudes involved sure can be.

    This may sound silly, but did you ever see the Disney videos Mighty Ducks and D2? The idea that sports could be competitive and still revolve around a sense of fun and teamwork was the main theme in both and I think they did a good job getting that across.

    We need coaches and trainers who have that sort of attitude. The winning part isn't really in the game, it's in the characters of the kids you work with.
     

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