Daily Devotional: Monday, June 19 - Tamed Lions

“Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.” — Proverbs 16:32

>> Sign up here for Sports Spectrum devotionals sent right to your email inbox <<

Coaches are constantly tested in their intensity and whether they are challenging and utilizing their players enough. They may face a short coaching career — or live out of a suitcase moving job to job — if their players aren’t pushed to maximum performance at every moment. The pressure of coaching can create less than desirable qualities and personality traits, so it is refreshing to see the coaches who have sustained success with a quiet confidence, calm demeanor and few angry outbursts.

On some occasions, people questioned Tony Dungy’s coaching ability, but he experienced sustained success in Tampa Bay and Indianapolis — he led the Colts to a Super Bowl victory and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Underneath Tony’s quiet personality, he has an intense outlook on doing everything with excellence and self-control in a way that builds people to be better in every way. Tony now gives helpful analysis as a sports commentator for NBC thanks to his background as a player and coach, which gives him an audience with all kinds of people. He is one of the most well-respected figures in football and beyond, not just because of his past successes, but because of how he carries himself and treats others.

The Bible speaks a lot about men being courageous, calling men to use physical strength and positions of power in a positive way. Sometimes a coach may be celebrated for punching a wall, breaking a chair, or scolding a player to the point of tears, but the best leaders know how to be brave without being cruel and disrespectful. “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city” (Proverbs 16:32).

God told Joshua to be brave in military battles. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). Joshua was a great warrior, but his most important victories came when he chose to live for God and not give in to selfish ambition and sin.

It takes more strength to speak helpful words when we are angry than to insult people to the point they feel worthless. Throughout Joshua’s life, he sought to honor God as he learned from Moses to be humble and wise. He was an example for others of how to live fully as a man of God. He stepped forward with courage and kindness as the Lord directed him. We’d do well to walk in his footsteps.

— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia

If you would like to submit a devotional, please email all submissions to

Click here for all Sports Spectrum Daily Devotionals

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more devotionals and stories where sports and faith connect <<

>> Purchase “The Increase 52 Week Devotional” to further grow your relationship with Christ <<