Column — Nobody wants to sit on the bench

Published 3:08 pm Saturday, November 20, 2021

“If you have gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if His love has made any difference in you life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care — then do me a favor: agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand (Philippians 2:1-4, MSG).”

No one likes to sit the bench. No. One. Every player of every sport desires to be in the game. No one likes sitting the bench. Fact is, all players will spend time on the bench at some point. Sometimes the bench is needed for rest. Sometimes the bench is needed for health. Sometimes the bench is needed to allow someone with different abilities a chance to shine.

Sometimes the bench is needed for humility. There is nothing wrong with sitting the bench. The problem with bench sitting is not the fact that you aren’t in the game…the problem is when you have a crappy attitude about not being in the game. Did you know that if a college or pro scout comes to watch a prospective athlete and they see them on the bench on their phone or sulking or not involved in cheering their team on that it puts a really bad taste in their mouth and they will often overlook said player regardless of talent and skill?

“If you have gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if His love has made any difference in you life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care — then do me a favor: agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand (Philippians 2:1-4, MSG).”

Stop trying to push your way into the game. Stop trying to shove your way to the top. Stop trying to have your own way. Instead, bring energy to the team. Cheer on and encourage those around you. Don’t ruin the focus of others. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. “Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage.” Are you on the bench? Cheer on your team and stay ready. Your time is coming soon.

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at jamescameronbailey@gmail.com.