“I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.” Colossians 2:4-5
During this year’s men’s NCAA basketball tournament, I heard an interesting argument regarding Butler’s postseason success. Bob Kravitz, Indianapolis Star columnist, said one of the keys to their success is their conference, the Horizon League, a conference that most likely won’t get any at-large bids and therefore must be won to advance to the Big Dance. Every game was a “must win” game and significantly affected Butler’s hopes of making the tournament. That’s why, when Butler did make the tournament, the players’ attitudes didn’t change. They’d been playing “do-or-die” all year.
Then there are power conferences, like the Big Ten, that routinely send a handful of teams to the tournament. Every game is still important. But when Ohio State’s undefeated season was tainted by a loss to Wisconsin, there was no panic. They still knew they would make the tournament.
I’m guessing coaches from conferences like this wish their players could develop the “do-or- die” mindset the Butler’s players have. Why? Because that mindset breeds success.
Butler players might enter each game like they are going into war. One bullet, one loss, can be deadly. Power-conference school players might enter each game like they are going into a backyard paintball game. One shot to the ribcage, one loss, may sting, but it’s not going to kill you.
What about you? What is your mindset? Do you approach your faith as a war or a Nerf-gun fight in your living room? Paul treats his faith like a war in Colossians 2:4-5. He used two military terms, “good order” and “firmness,” to remind the Colossians that they should act like soldiers resisting the enemy.
As Christians, how often do we ignore the vigorous spiritual battle that rages inside us? Our soul is at war. Let’s take our faith seriously. It’s do-or-die.