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Getting Punched In the Mouth

One of the most difficult habits to form is resilience. The ability to recover quickly from challenging situations is a trait which has been honed. As a coach, I am forever encouraging our players to put the past play behind them and move on the next one.

The truth is this is much easier said than done. We have a natural tendency to want to reflect on the negative but in a game situation, and life, more than a moment of reflection is too long.

We can learn much about ourselves and others in the manner with which adversity is handled. It is how you react to the adversity which defines you, not the event itself. Our lives are filled with major and minor setbacks ranging from losing your car keys to major health issues.

The question we must ask ourselves is how do we respond? Do we acknowledge the problem, do we take ownership, do we make the necessary adjustments and do we do so in a timely manner?

The philosopher Mike Tyson was being prepped by his coach to remember different elements of his opponents game plan. To wit, Iron Mike said, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth."

The fact is the X and Os become less of a factor once you have been hit in the face. Getting hit is reality. The best players and teams I have coached were the ones who took the punches and then got back into the fight while avoiding the mistakes which led them to get hit initially.

In the gospel of James, he writes:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

This verse from James is one of my favorites. He tells us to not only embrace adversity but to literally consider it "pure joy". This is the biblical equivalent of "bring it on" or "is that all you got". James is letting the devil know that he may test us but with God on our side these slings and arrows merely make us stronger.

As Christians, we will be criticized and ridiculed for our beliefs and moral stances which run contrary to the society in which we live. This has been true for all Christians since the resurrection of Christ. How we handle these interactions define us.

So, we must get up, praise God for the opportunity to show how great our God is, and then let the situation help us to become better Christians. We are to let the adversity fine tune us to the point where we are lacking nothing because we have all we need in God.


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