Dictionary.com defines "Victory" as,
vic-to-ry [vik-tuh-ree, vik-tree]
- a success or triumph over an enemy in battle or war.
- an engagement ending in such triumph.
- the ultimate and decisive superiority in any battle or contest.
Although we often associate the term 'victory' with the sports arena, the true victory was won at the cross of Jesus Christ. I constantly assess myself as a coach and ask the question, "why do you coach?" Obviously, there is a passion and desire to win championships, develop the skills of my players, and to reach the highest level of success that is possible. But if the wins, success, and reputation among my peers is the only place I'm finding victory, then I have truly lost. When I break it down to the fundamentals, there are three reasons I coach and they are the only things that will make an impact for eternity.
1. Discipleship within a basketball program is key. I want to disciple our players to the best of my ability to ensure that they are growing in their walks with Jesus and that they are winning off the court as well as on the court. Our players should graduate knowing that I cared about them as more than just a basketball player. I will only be successful in this if I am being discipled as well. Finding mentors to help me grow and hold me accountable is a key in achieving success in these areas. If no one is coaching the coaches, then we are in trouble. (Matthew 28:19)
2. Proclaiming the gospel to the nations is essential. Throughout the season it is vital to not only be visible in the community, but also to have a presence around the world. Our team was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to Puerto Rico this season and use basketball to glorify God. Obviously, trips across the ocean may not be a common occurrence, but we still need to make efforts to share the gospel with others. If we aren't telling non-believers about Jesus, then we are failing in our call as coaches and as human beings. (Matthew 5:16)
3. Glorifying Jesus Christ in all we do is the umbrella over it all. We were put here on this earth by a marvelous Creator and he deserves all the praise we have to offer. We can praise him through our preparation, attitude, and actions. God the Father sent his only son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross for our sin, rise up from the grave, and give us victory. He gave us victory because he won the battle over sin. He gave us victory because he sits triumphantly at the right hand of God the Father. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
It was the ultimate sacrifice. According to the Bible and the definition given to us by Dictionary.com, we really do have victory in Jesus! We can worship Jesus by the way we coach, the way we live, and by the legacy we leave. Next time you think about victory and winning a championship, check your heart and make sure that you are doing everything for the glory of God!