Sports, sports and more sports. We live in a sports oriented society. The influence of professional sports on our thinking is incredible. Sometimes it is direct; at other times, it is subtle. But it is significant.
One of the subtle influences is evident in the development of an expanding “spectator’s mentality”. Increasing numbers people are living vicariously through others, without ever actually being participants in the game, whatever it is. Many are content to sit on the sidelines of life, watching the months and years roll by. Think about it: How many “couch potatoes” do you know? (Or, is it un-sportsman-like conduct to ask that?)
A snippet about a talented young football player who, in his coach’s eyes, didn’t seem to put his heart into the game, once crossed my desk. The coach wanted to light a fire under him. Looking intensely into his eyes, he asked, “Suppose it’s late in the game. We’re down by five points. We have the ball on the one yard line, and it’s fourth down. What would you do?” Without hesitation and in complete sincerity, the player replied, “I’d move as close as I could to the end of the bench, so I’d have a better view.”
Yikes! Sometimes even the players are overtaken by the spectator’s mentality! This makes it hard to build a team. Again, the sports arena is not the only place we find a growing number of spectators. This mindset distresses workplace supervisors. It is present nearly everywhere we look, even in the body of Christ. Members stand on the sidelines watching, while their brothers and sisters wrestle with Kingdom assignments both big and small. But, the last place that a spectator’s mentality should exist is in the body of the redeemed. God’s involvement in our lives compels us to be involved in the lives of others and in functioning of the body of Christ.
Involvement is a personal choice. It is greatly influenced by a person’s attitude. God does not want us to hide our talent by blending into the crowd on the sidelines. Nor does God want us to bury it. Knowing this is a great incentive for involvement.
God has blessed every Christian with unique talents. He will hold us accountable for how we use them, too. However, understanding that we can be God’s instruments for making a positive a difference in the lives of many people should help us to see involvement on a grander scale. It is more than a duty. It is ameans of imparting blessings to others and being a source of great joy in their lives! Thus, Peter’s exhortation is that “each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10 NIV)
Let’s all determine that we will be more than spectators in the world in which we live and in the life of the local body of Christ to which we belong! Let's decide to make a difference!
© Bill Williams
April 13, 2006