Whistles and Wedding Rings: Devotions for Coaches and Spouses

Day 3 of 10 • This day’s reading


Most Important of All

------- L O Y A L T Y ------

1 Peter 4:8

Think for a moment about one of the situations in your coaching career that demanded fierce and unquestioned loyalty from you. How did you maintain such loyalty in spite of the difficult circumstances? You are probably picturing in your mind people who stretch your loyalty to its limits. How long are you supposed to put up with their nonsense? Where will you find the strength of will to get through their next episode? Jesus had days and people like that on his team and in his family.

In his first letter to his friends of the church in present-day Turkey, the Apostle Peter wrote these words in chapter four, verse eight, “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” I would imagine that when Peter is penning these thoughts, he can see the face of the Lord Jesus in his mind. Peter was very conscious of his multitude of sins, and he had experienced the deep love and loyalty of Jesus. Of all the disciples, it must have required immense patience and loyalty to deal with Peter for three years.

Peter emphasizes that love is the power behind loyalty as he says, “Most important of all.” A deep love for each other is the substance of loyalty in a team, in a family, between a husband and wife, as deep love carries loyalty in its arms. The depth of this love is indicated by its effect as Peter writes, “for love covers a multitude of sins.” We’re more than happy to have Jesus’ love cover our multitude of sins, but in this verse, he’s referring to the multitude of sins committed by those around us.

Sometimes we’re on the blunt end of the multitude of sins committed by our players, our coaching colleagues, and even our spouses. Suddenly the depth of love required seems greater and the multitude of sins is accompanied by deeply painful memories. This is why it says, “most important of all”

The challenge for us today, with our teams, with our families, with our spouses, and with our coaching colleagues is to appropriate the infinitely deep love of Jesus to the multitude of sins that have been visited upon us. As we have received Jesus’ love and forgiveness, we can now extend it to others. The results of such love is an enduring loyalty.

Questions for Contemplation and Discussion:

1.  Who are the people and situations that push your loyalty to the breaking point?

2.  How easy is it to love these people, when you just want to escape?

3.  Think of some concrete ways you can appropriate the deep love of Jesus and express it toward the people who are stressing your loyalty.