“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” — Colossians 3:23
My German grandfather taught this to me hundreds of times: “A man is a worker — if he is not that, he is nothing.” I think Solomon and Paul may have agreed with my grandpa. Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.” And Paul reminded us in Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
As an all-state football player, and later a coach of a girls’ state championship team, I can tell you one of the most important things in sports and life is work ethic. Ultimately, we coach effort. As Christians, we will be judged by God by the quality and quantity of our work for Him. We are saved by grace. After that, we work to glorify Him. The Christian athlete, coach and citizen in society should be the hardest worker on the team.
The first thing Adam received in the garden (before a house, family or even clothes!) was a job — combining blue-collar tending with white-collar naming. God tasked Adam to figure out what everything was, what it all did, how to control it in creation, and how to make it produce more and greater fruit. And 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 reiterates the importance of quality work.
When we as Christians work together, we make a greater impact for the Kingdom of God. A perfect example of teamwork are bees. Their productivity is phenomenal. In a two-month season, a bee passes through seven different jobs in the hive, starting with simple cleaning tasks and ending with complicated hunter-gatherer functions. At all times, it is mentored as it also mentors others (like a sophomore learning from a senior, while mentoring a freshman on the same team). As a result, each bee produces 80 times its body weight in honey. And, working as team, a hive of 700 bees can fly 30,000 miles to gather 6 pounds of nectar from 2 million flowers to ultimately spin 5 gallons of honey!
As athletes and coaches in Christ, we have spiritual gifts that bees know nothing about. We must daily discover, develop and deploy our talents as a team for the service of others. This is how we justify our life on earth and collect crowns in glory as “good and faithful servants” for Christ. To paraphrase my bee-like grandfather: A Christian player is a great worker — if they are not that, they are a great sinner.
— Terry Boesch
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