Every now and then we need to be “coached up.” It’s never a pleasant experience. Having your coach confront you and point out corrections that need to be made can be tough.
It’s usually not that great for the coach either. But what makes it all worthwhile for the coach is when he gets to witness his coaching bear fruit. When positive changes get made, and people line up with the right way of doing things — well, then it’s really rewarding for everyone concerned!
Kudos go to the apostle Paul, the “coach” of the Corinthians. And praise also goes to the Corinthians for taking the apostle’s coaching in the right way.
Instead of becoming angry and petulant about the coaching Paul had given them, they took it in, made the necessary changes and came back stronger than ever. Instead of feeling sorry for themselves and retreating into their shell, they came out fighting and successfully put their house in order.
How do you take coaching from those who care about your soul? Is it tough to take direction and advice? Is it difficult to receive correction? Do you resist admitting wrong, or avoid saying that you’re sorry for sins you’ve committed?
Do you tend to become angry and petulant? Do you feel sorry for yourself and feel a strong urge to retreat into your shell?
Because these are all common temptations for every one of us, Paul carefully reminds us how critically important our spiritual coaches are. And even more, he demonstrates how important our humble attitude is. Godly sorrow leads to salvation. And what could possibly be more important than staying on course to reach that destination!
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter” (2 Corinthians 7:10-11, NIV).
Lord, I thank you for the spiritual coaches in my life who call me to repentance for my sins. Help me to listen to their coaching and allow godly sorrow to rule my heart. Keep me from worldly sorrow and feeling sorry for myself. I want to be earnest and eager, as the Corinthians were, to clear myself of the tangles of sin and always be ready to walk a straight path with you, longing to please you.
Our Bible reading for Friday, September 4, is Isaiah 5:8 – 8:10, 2 Corinthians 7:2-16 and Psalm 105:23-36.
Header image based on "Coach (Dad) Pumps Up the Team" by Jim Larrison, CC By 2.0