Thursday, January 17, 2013
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Now, as a good football coach prepares his high school players for the season, he's going to bring up the dangers of what he will call playing tentatively. I know no one's anxious to get hurt, and so there's a natural tendency to hold back a little in a contact sport; to hold back when you hit, when you block, when you tackle. But the coach is going to tell you that the best way to get hurt is to play tentatively, half-heartedly. Either give it all you've got or don't play.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Intent, Not Tentative."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God is from Ecclesiastes 9:10; a verse that could be one of those life-principle verses like maybe a good wall plaque. It's almost a motto that you could repeat to yourself at work, and in sports, or while you're doing your homework, while you're doing dirty work, while you're listening to someone, or you're trying to finish a job. It's one of those repeat over and over statements. Okay, why don't we find out what it is? Ecclesiastes 9:10, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might."
Well, that's consistent with four words that appear over and over in the Bible, "with all your heart." Whatever you do, do it with all your heart, or in this case with all your might. One of my personal heroes is Jim Elliott, who was a missionary that in the 1950s was one of five American missionaries martyred as they went to a tribe that had never even heard the name of God. And out of that martyrdom came a flow of missionaries and people in Christian service. Honestly, I'm one of them.
Well, one of Jim Elliott's mottos went like this (you ready?), "Wherever you are, be all there." Somebody may have said to you, "You're not all there." Well, yes, wherever you are, be all there. If you've got something to do anyway, why not do it with all you've got? If you've got to be there, why not be there with all your heart?
There's a little wisdom up on a plaque in our kitchen. It says, "Lord, help me do with a smile the things I have to do anyway." Got to do them anyway, might as well really do them. A Christian should be known as a "hundred percenter" in everything he or she does. You listen with all your might. When it's time to work, you work with all your might. When you pray, you pray with all your might. When you play, you play with all your might. When you goof off, you goof off with all your might. When you help somebody, you help with all your might. When you study, oh yeah, you know by now, yeah, you do it with all your might.
You can do that because you know that you are leading a God-planned life. Psalm 37 says, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in His way." Psalm 16 says, "The Lord has assigned me my portion and my cup." Now, you know that every situation has been brought into your life by a God who loves you and knows best. So you make every situation the best it can be. And you do that when you tackle it with all your might; not just the things you like to do or not just the things you feel like doing.
This says "everything your hand finds to do." Don't play tentatively. Do it with intensity. In football, in everyday life, playing tentatively invites injury and defeat. Either give it all you've got or don't play.