Psalm 32: 5Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Coaches and athletes often spend considerable time together; in fact sometimes they spend more time together than they do with their own families. This can be a blessing, but there is also the reality that if you spend that amount of time together, under the intense atmosphere of sports, friction can, and likely will arise. The athlete and coach get to see the worst of each other.
Keeping a smiling face in the midst of a brutal practise is tough on the best of days, but even tougher when the athlete brings their baggage to the practise – school or work pressures, relationship pressures. Likewise coaches are often overextended feeling pulled between their team obligations and their family obligations. In such atmospheres, both athletes and coaches can say some pretty unkind things to each other, or act in ways that are not becoming. The question is: “what do you do after it happens”?
As a Christian, I’ve learned over the years to repent quickly because leaving it is like leaving a cancer cell. It does not go away, but rather wreaks greater havoc. Apologizing is a difficult thing. It is contrary to our sinful nature. It is so foreign to our nature that it can actually cause pain in our stomach as we just contemplate having to apologize; but I have found repentance always leads to inner peace.
A number of years ago I was coaching a competitive soccer team, but it was a lower level than I was accustomed to coaching. We held a scrimmage against an older team and I played along. One of the boys on our team was not putting in what I would have considered suitable effort and I laid into him on the field. Unfortunately his mother was within earshot right beside the pitch. Needless to say I was given quite the earful myself! I could have defended myself, but instead I recognized there were deeper issues I was dealing with and I made it a first priority after the game to apologize to her and directly to her son.
Psalm 32 is an amazing scripture. Take the time to read it and take in what David is saying. Verse 3 says: “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.” When we do not repent, the sin hangs over us and we waste away. It affects our countenance and the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5: 22-23) are rarely visible in those times. But David speaks from his own experience and says in verse 5: Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Repent quickly to God and man and restore the peace that God intends for our lives. Do not be one who stubbornly hangs on to sin and whose bones waste away.