LSU Football and Luke 18

This year’s LSU football team is incredibly talented, but has been disappointing in many ways. And yet they are 5-0 and ranked number 4 in the country. I’ve wondered, though, if they are the worst team ever to be ranked number 4. But then I read Carl Dubois’ reflection upon their game against Georgia this past Saturday: “All of us who focused more on the flaws than on the results? How many of us are living up to our potential? I asked myself that after the game. I had no comment.” This was a convicting statement, because as I thought about my preaching, pastoring, praying, leading, etc., I realized that I would have no comment either. It reminded me of Jesus’ parable in Luke 18, told to “those who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and looked down on others with contempt.” Jesus’ point is that none of us are living up to our potential, no matter how “talented” we might be – none of us obey the law of God perfectly (and of course, none of us are talented enough to do that), nor are any of us as righteous as we even could be. So why do we look down on others with contempt?

It’s easy to cordon off different parts of our lives into compartments: my spiritual life and my LSU-football life. But Carl Dubois’ comments reminded me again that our heart is involved in every endeavor we are involved in. Why should I be disappointed that student-athletes don’t live up to their potential (and trust me, there is a LOT of potential on that team), when I have never lived up to my potential, and in fact there is only one who has ever lived up to His potential? Dubois’ words were an interesting source of a mirror into my own soul and into God’s word in Luke 18; they were a kick in the pants to examine areas where I am falling short of God’s glory (and the command to do whatever I do with all my might, Col. 3:23); and they were a call to look again to Christ for my justification, and stop looking down on those who, like me, fail to live up to their potential.

Enjoy LSU-Florida (#4 vs. #1) this Saturday night!

SDG,
Ezra and the Farmer

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