Soccer Moms Sin, Too

This year my husband and I coached our 8-year-old daughter’s soccer team. At the beginning of the season, we had three girls who had never played soccer and two who weren’t excited about playing. Our goal was to make soccer fun! 20140913_113203

My husband’s gift for motivating kids along with his competitive nature resulted in a great season with only one loss.  By the end of the season, the girls had gained confidence and developed a love for soccer. You can imagine our excitement when our team made it to the championship game.

The week of the final game was crazy. Due to impending storms, the tournament schedule was pushed up and the girls had played three nights in a row. The night before the big game, the girls had played through the rain. By game day, everyone was pretty worn out.

All season I had been intentional about keeping things positive even when mistakes were made. I had been the girls’ #1 cheerleader, but for this last game something felt different. Even though I wanted to encourage the girls, the words that came out of my mouth felt forced and insincere. Instead of shielding the girls from the grumbling on the sidelines, I found myself joining in.

My thoughts became suspicious and I became “huffy”. I was convinced that the other coach was trying to trip up our girls. I was ready to accuse the other team of playing “dirty”. Unfortunately, the championship game ended up being our 2nd loss of the season. The loss was probably more devastating to the parents than the girls. Some of us had speculations about why we lost, but the truth is, we were simply outplayed.

At home, Jeff and I couldn’t stop talking about the game. Our 8-year-old daughter, being the mature soul that she is, was the one encouraging me, instead of the other way around. After confessing my ugly thoughts and attitude, she spoke wise words to me…, “Who would want a trophy more than God anyway?” 2015-04-25 10.21.28

She was right…

In the end, the evening was a much-needed reminder that no matter how spiritually mature I think I may be, I am still prone to wander no less. Paul, an apostle sent by Jesus Christ and God the Father, gives us a solid reminder in his letter to the churches of Galatia…


“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature for the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.”

Galatians 5: 16-17


That last sentence says it perfectly – “They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” I’d venture to say, that we all want to do the right thing, but if we are not living by the Spirit, we become slaves to our flesh and don’t do the very thing our Spirit knows we ought. Our flesh is weak.

If we are not “gratifying the desires of the sinful nature”, we bear fruit which takes on the form of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). 

A better example, of this was my husband on the day of the championship game. By nature, he is very competitive and he knows it, so the day of the big game, he had intentionally sought God. Throughout his day, he had prayed, read Scripture, and confessed to God his need for Him. By game time, he was submitted to the Spirit.

With God’s grace, Jeff was able to let things roll off his shoulder and hold his tongue when his flesh wanted to do otherwise. While the rest of us grumbled and complained on the sidelines, he was self-controlled. He was walking in the Spirit.


 Reflect

How are you doing when it comes to living by the Spirit?

Have you been forsaking the Spirit and trying to do things in your own power?

Confess it to God and ask for forgiveness. Ask God for a Spirit of (fill in the blank) >> [love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control].


 Be intentional in every situation

In Paul’s words,

“Watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)

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{…even if it is just grumbling at your daughter’s soccer game.}

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