Athlete, I am the Problem


Athlete, I am the Problem

Bryce Johnson

Psalm 32:5 (ESV)

I acknowledged my sin to You, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.

In order for a team to develop the chemistry needed to succeed, it requires all of the individual athletes to embrace the idea of accountability.

Many teams have been completely destroyed by the inner turmoil brought about by players or coaches blaming one another. Rather than people owning up to their mistakes, they pass the blame on to someone else in an attempt to save face.

Such shifting of the blame might feel good for an athlete at the moment, but there is no denying the devastating effect it has on team morale and chemistry.

On the flip side, the teams that work together the best are typically the teams that have a high level of accountability, where athletes and coaches are willing to own up to their mistakes and acknowledge that they messed up.

When it comes to our lives of faith, we too make mistakes and fail at key moments. We then have a choice to either deny what we did, shift the blame, make absurd excuses, or own what we did and say, “I’m the problem,” “It’s my fault,” and “It’s on me.”

As followers of Jesus, we desire to obey, pursue holiness, and not make mistakes or sin, but the reality is, that we do. We don’t accept it or blow it off as no big deal, but we continually experience His grace in our lives as we confess our sins and acknowledge our need for His forgiveness.

1 John 1:9 (ESV) tells us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

By admitting when we blow it, we can honestly evaluate what happened and make the necessary improvements while showing our “teammates” accountability, as well.

James 5:16 (ESV) implores us to “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

In life, we can’t pretend that we’re perfect and act self-righteously. Instead, we humbly declare our brokenness and our need for Jesus’ saving grace.

1 John 1:8 (AMP) says, “If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit that we are sinners], we delude ourselves and the truth is not in us. [His Word does not live in our hearts].”

We can echo Psalm 32:5 (ESV): “I acknowledged my sin to You, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.”

Today, let’s be quick to say “my bad” and admit when we’re the problem as we rest in God’s wonderful grace.

Reflect: What holds you back from quickly admitting when you make a mistake and sin? Why is it so important to acknowledge when you are the problem and it’s your fault?

A prayer to consider: Heavenly Father, I confess I am a sinner in need of grace. Every day I make mistakes and fail, but I’m so grateful You continue to love me and forgive me for my sins. I pray that I will admit when it’s my fault, acknowledge when I’m the problem, and be willing to be held accountable. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

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