Yesterday as I lay on my couch watching some football the commentators began discussing the game that had just finished. They made the following remark, “The Cowboys beat the Cowboys.” My wife was walking through the room and was puzzled by the remark. When I put the remark in context it made complete sense; they beat themselves through bad choices and penalties. The Cowboys were very sloppy and loose with the game and it cost them! (In basketball when I am coaching I teach about this by reminding the players to “value every possession.”)
In football penalties are a killer. When on offense they stall your forward progress. On defense they allow the other team to advance. Penalties lead to the old phrase of “1 step forward and 2 steps back.” They are the result of a lack of mental and physical discipline.
When a player gets tired, the first thing to go is his mind; that is why so many dumb things happen in the 4th quarter of any sport. Sometimes players come into games unprepared mentally. Sometimes players simply do not care. All these things lead to bad choices that hurt the team.
I believe most of our shortcomings as believers result from being undisciplined. We are not completely focused on God’s game plan. We have not allowed the Scriptures to transform our minds. We have ignored the warnings in the book of Colossians that tell us to guard our minds and avoid the world’s philosophies.
Our lives really do break down to good and bad choices; ones that keep us moving forward or ones that set us back.
1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 for attaining wisdom and discipline;
for understanding words of insight;
3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life,
doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young-
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance-
6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Don’t beat yourself in the game of life; make right, disciplined choices.