At this time of year it is very common to hear of coaches being hired or fired in college and NFL football; plus at the NBA level in basketball. When it boils down to it the coaches have to be winning or else they get cut (even if they had other years of success.)
One great assumption that is made by fans is that the players are doing what the coaches have designed. For a coach it is as important, or maybe even more important, to have players that are good listeners as opposed to just being talented.
Yes, players have a responsibility to represent their coaches well.
The same is true in our Christian lives. I quoted Gandhi in a previous devotion where he said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” In other words we are doing a poor job of representing Christ.
Yet most of the world will not be as objective as Gandhi in their thinking about Christ. They will judge Christ/God based upon what they see in us, and/or how the media portrays us. They will write God/Christianity off when they see us behaving poorly.
That is why the Apostle Paul reminded us in Colossians 1 of the responsibility we have as “players.” The following is from the Message translation:
21-23 You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God's side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don't walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. There is no other Message—just this one. Every creature under heaven gets this same Message. I, Paul, am a messenger of this Message.
This passage gives the goal of maturity in believers as they recognize the preeminence of Christ and His message.
I hope your resolution for 2011 is to represent Christ well. That involves listening to the coach and executing what He has designed!