Most sports enthusiast know the old saying “Defense wins championships,” and seeing that I’m the defensive coordinator for the basketball team at Liberty High School, I am inclined to agree with this statement.
In basketball, defense establishes a base for your team that you can count on night in and night out to perform at a high level. While offense often relies on rhythm and skills that can vary from night to night, defense is more about effort, intensity, and willpower, which can be reciprocated night after night without much variance. Thus, to win championships, your defense has to be the first building block because it gives your team consistent excellence every game–even when your team’s offense isn’t performing at a high level on certain nights.
Even though this concept is fairly evident on the basketball court, I believe the opposite is true in actual life.
Too many people believe Jesus is a defensive-minded guy. That He’s all about what you don’t do…
Although living a life that avoids sin as much as possible is certainly a truth that God wants for all of us, I don’t believe it’s primary focus. I believe God is more about what we DO, than what we DON’T do, which is to say He’s more about your offensive plan than your defensive one.
Sure there’s going to be times when we need to be defensive. When we’re facing temptation and need to call on God to help us avoid them. Defense only wins games, however. If you want to win the championship, I believe God wants you to get on the offensive!
So what does Scripture tell us we SHOULD be doing?
Jesus sums it up when He stated the following:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”–Matthew 28: 19-20
These verses are often referred to as The Great Commission and is what Jesus expects all of us to do if we’re truly followers of God. Not to just “behave,” but to actively GO OUT and make a difference for the kingdom of God. Simply “behaving” focuses too much on ourselves, while “going out” focuses on trusting God and helping others!
I think if we focus more on what we should be doing (making disciples of all nations and teaching them the way of God), then we’re going to be far more likely to succeed in avoiding the things Jesus doesn’t want us to do (sin). Sure, we’ll still have mishaps, but if we’re more concerned with fulfilling God’s will for our lives instead of simply avoiding “bad things,” we’ll be far more likely to achieve all God wants for us and be a much better instrument in bringing positive change to our world.
There’s often many parallels between sports and real life, but this concept is certainly not one of them! In life, defense may win some games, but offense is what wins the championship!
Let’s live accordingly…