by Shannon Caughey
“I would be an even better coach if I had more…” How would you complete this sentence? Lots of potential answers probably come to mind: time, resources, exceptional athletes, etc. If the goal is to be a truly transformational coach – someone through whom Jesus works to bring about life transformation in those you influence as a coach – different answers take precedence. Here’s one that should be on the short list for all of us: “I would be an even better coach if I had more wisdom.”
In this series of devotions, we’re looking at the importance of training our mind so that we live and coach effectively for Christ. We’ve seen from Scripture the need to renew our mind, redirect our focus, and reprogram our thinking. The Bible is also clear about another component of training our mind: we must resolve to pursue wisdom.
God’s Word repeatedly directs us to continually seek more wisdom. This is the predominant theme of Proverbs in particular. Proverbs 2:2-6 says this: “2 Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. 3 Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. 4 Search for them as you would for silver;seek them like hidden treasures. 5 Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
According to this passage, the resolve to pursue the wisdom needed to be a transformational coach includes these elements:
1. Pay attention to wisdom.
This is the command of v. 2: pay attention to our need for wisdom. In the Bible, wisdom is understanding practically how to live according to God’s design in everyday situations. It goes beyond having knowledge. Wisdom is insight regarding how to apply the right knowledge in the right way so that you have the best chance of experiencing the right result. It’s readily apparent that if we’re going to coach and live effectively for Christ, we need to pay attention to wisdom.
2. Pray for wisdom.
A critically important step in the pursuit of wisdom is to ask God for it (v. 3): “Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding.” The Lord is the one who grants wisdom to us (v. 6). James 1:5 also tells us to pray for wisdom: “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you” (James 1:5). We need the Lord’s wisdom in all kinds of coaching and life situations. Pray that God would show you how to think, speak, and act according to his design in each situation.
3. Prioritize true wisdom.
Go after the wisdom that comes from God with the drive you’d have to “seek…hidden treasures” (v. 4). Don’t settle for the “wisdom” often promoted by the world. The foundation of true wisdom is “understand[ing] what it means to fear the Lord” and “gain[ing] knowledge of God” (v. 5). The “fear of the Lord” that Proverbs and other places in the Bible prescribe is responding to God with reverence and awe because we recognize his overwhelming greatness and glory. God reveals himself to us through his Word. The more we know God as he truly is, the greater our understanding of the awesome nature of his character, his ways, and his purposes. We then desire to speak and act according to the Lord’s character, ways, and purposes in every situation. This leads to coaching and living with true wisdom.
Resolve to pursue wisdom. Pay attention to the need for wisdom, pray for wisdom, and prioritize the true wisdom that comes from the Lord. Train your mind through seeking the practical understanding God gives of how to follow his design in each situation. As you do so, you really will be a better, more transformational coach.
For reflection: Ask God for wisdom for your current coaching and life situations. Pray that the Lord would grow you in wisdom through deepening your knowledge of and awe of him.