My son and I were traveling through the Midwest meeting coaches from schools where he hoped to find a fit and could continue chasing his passion of playing at the next level. We were meeting with Coach Burianek of Missouri Baptist University when through the course of conversation he addressed a comment I made about players getting frustrated with being on losing teams. Coach Burianek made the point that players should not focus on losing as much as they should focus on doing something about it.
Coach went a step further and shared a memorable event where the KC Chiefs lost in the AFC Championship game to the NE Patriots because of a lack of personal accountability. On a critical play at the end of the game, the Chiefs defensive end was called for lining up offside when the result of the play was a game ending interception that was forfeited and the Patriots going on to tie the game and win in overtime.
Coach pointed out most pundits called out the defensive end for his lining up offside; however, they should have been asking why the other 10 guys on the field did not notice their brother lined up offside. Coach's point was that we far too often point the finger at the mistakes of others when we should reflect upon what we could have done to help others avoid the mistake.
How many times had this player lined up offside in practice or the game and not been corrected by his peers. Why had another player not looked inward and recognized their role to "inspect what they were expecting". How many times through our own lives when something goes wrong do we ask what we could have done to alleviate or prevent the mistake before it impacted the team.
God calls upon us to hold each other accountable. In Hebrews 10:24 it is written, "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,"
We need people to spur us on. ( You’re too weak on your own to fight sin, insecurities, and the battles that rage against you doing what God’s calling you to do. You need someone who’s got your back. You need someone who is going to encourage you on the good days and the bad.
Coach Burianek might add you need a Spartan like warrior who won’t give up on you, who knows where you’re headed, and is willing to walk through the dark and the light to help you get there.
Coach has undertaken the daunting task of building a college football program from the ground up. He has been asked to take a program with no field and locker room to compete for, and winning, conference championships. He has had to build a culture that challenges men to do more than "hate losses" but to actually do something about it and the wisdom was not lost on me and I am grateful for the reminder.
The next time we are in a position to encourage and hold others accountable we should recognize it is for the betterment of both them and us to act. We can then look back and know we have fought the fight God has called us to fight by taking the personal responsibility to hold everyone, and not just oneself, accountable.