Monday, March 29, 2010

March 29, 2010 - Defense Wins Championships

When all is said and done in sports I believe it all still boils down to an old saying: Offense wins games; defense wins championships.

A lot of that philosophy is based upon the simple fact that offense is something that often wavers from night to night, maybe even from half to half. Some nights the shots just don’t seem to be falling. Yet defense can be played consistently every night. It is a matter of heart and determination.

I thought about a game I watched Saturday night between the University of Kentucky and West Virginia University. It was a game in which WVU shot much better than anyone ever dreamed they would; (proving that offense is unpredictable.) Kentucky’s players shot horribly that game (missing their first 20 3-point attempts.)

Many had commented on Kentucky’s team about how strong of defense they have been playing in the tournament. And many also talked about their strong offense, with one of the most talented freshmen classes ever assembled. Yet on this particular night, when the offense was sputtering, they also chose to take most of the second half off from defense as well. Even the commentators kept questioning UK’s lack of pressure on the defensive end. WVU was playing without their starting point guard and at times had the back-up point guard on the bench. Yet UK was content to let the non-ballhandlers move the ball around to find comfortable shots. Even though Kentucky is probably the most talented team in college basketball, they are now at home – out of the tournament – and should be doing an inventory check to see where their heart and determination went.

I feel like I could turn this week’s devotion simply into a sports article but I am getting to an applicable point for our Christian lives. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us: But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;…

In other words we need to be able to “play defense” in our Christian lives. If we cannot defend or support what and why we believe something, we simply allow the ball to stay in the “opponent’s court” and for them to remain comfortable in their “offense” (beliefs.)

Our goal is to be able to make a strong stand, get the “ball” back in our possession and head straight for the “goal” (straight to the cross)!

2 Timothy 2: 14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

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