Sport Principle 24: Do your talking on the pitch

About the Sport Principle

Talk is cheap, action is what counts. Professional boxers are brilliant at this, especially heavyweights. Most boxing matches fail to live up to the pre-match hype of the televised conference, with the carefully choreographed trash talk alongside the relatively recently introduced party piece of furniture throwing! How could the reality live up to that? It cannot, and generally, boxing fans understand this, it’s all part of the fun, and it generates more interest in the fight and ultimately more sponsorship dollars for the promoters. The danger is when we start to believe our own hype….

Application to Life

We can all talk a good game, but what counts is how we live! When all is said and done, there is usually a lot more said than done. May this never be said of us, as men of God! As the old saying goes: ‘actions speak louder than words.’ Much louder! If I have influenza (flu) it doesn’t matter how much I talk about COVID, what are you going to catch…..? People catch what (or who) we are, not what we say. Sadly, some of us men, rather like the heavyweight boxers, can be rather too good at talking. 

The Bible has a lot to say about our speech, especially the importance of us keeping a check on it, but I struggle to find anywhere in the Bible where God commends people for speaking well! “Well said” just does not seem to be one of God’s favourite phrases! In fact, it is a much more common phrase on the lips of Jesus’ opponents as part of their fruitless attempts to trip him up. (For example Luke 20:39). Whereas “Well done” is an often-used phrase in Jesus’ parables of the Kingdom, (for example Matthew 25:21) usually on the lips of the ‘God’ character. This indicates, by contrast, how important our actions are to God. Of course, our speech matters, and so do our intentions. It’s not just about unthinkingly doing the right thing, even in a bad attitude. Actually, the state of our hearts is directly connected to what comes out of our gobs! (Luke 6:45). But my appeal today is for us to guard against that hypocrisy, that seemed to irritate Jesus so much, where our words and our actions simply do not line up. Let us commit today to be nothing like those trash-talking boxers in our walk with God. May we say what we mean and mean what we say, but more than anything else, may we be men of action for God’s Kingdom. How awesome would it be if, at the end of our lives, having overwhelmed people with amazement, it could be said of us, as it was said of Jesus: “He did everything well.”

“People were overwhelmed with amazement. ‘He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.’” 

Mark 7:37

Image Credit: Henrique Macedo