Monday, September 19, 2011

September 19, 2011 - Teammate Affiliations

The news lately in college sports is centering on teams changing conferences – or – conference realignment. Basically many schools are trying to improve their standing by finding the fit that will give them the best options for recognition in the polls, more potential for revenue, better recruiting capabilities, etc. It must be a very difficult thing to navigate all the scenarios that are taking place.

Some are very excited as they see the strength of the changing super conferences; others are discouraged as they see the strength of these conferences hurting the outlook for others. Yet bottom line is that each is looking to determine what makes them stronger. Not sure I always agree with how they get there but I do understand the general premise that schools have a responsibility to work to do what is best for their university and program.

What or who are your “affiliations?” Are you making sure that you are being strengthened? Do the people around you build you up or tear you down? The sports news this week, coupled with a testimony I heard last night by a friend that is a state-champ basketball coach, continue to take me back to the devotion I wrote 2 weeks ago about how important “TEAM” is!

In that devotion I reminded us of the Scriptures warning that “bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Based upon what the Lord has continued to bring in front of me I felt led to go a step further…

13 Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever
(2 Corinthians 6)

Again this is not telling us not to associate with those that think differently than us (if that were the case how could we follow out the great commission to reach them?) This is simply a great reminder to be very careful who you are “yoked” with. WHAT IN THE WORLD DOES YOKED MEAN?
While I was in the Dominican Republic a few months ago I actually got to see this word picture in action. There was a farmer in the field with his oxen yoked together plowing the field. There was a definite plan and direction for the team of oxen to go – the yoke kept them going in the same direction in which the farmer was leading them.

So what is a modern “yoke”? Who are your best friends? Who are you dating? Who is your business partner? Make choices based upon who is the best teammate…

Great teammates have the same goals and listen to the same coach. Are those close to you making you stronger? Are you making them stronger? If you are going to stick your neck in a “yoke” with someone make sure you are both listening/letting God lead. When “yoked” even if one of you wants to stray the other will keep you on course.

This week is not about conference affiliations but instead friendship or teammate affiliations!

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