Vince Lombardi, the head coach of the 1960s Green Bay Packers said, “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” This quote is true to life as it is to the game of football. There’s not a single player who doesn’t get tackled in football; not even the quarterback. Similarly, everyone in life is guaranteed to get hit on occasion, whether it’s through the sudden loss of a loved one, a difficult experience at work, or an unexpected trial, everyone will get knocked down. However, with every hit comes the opportunity to get back up and try again. It might not be easy and it may take some time, but getting back up is always an option, and it is up to us to do it.
I’ve noticed three important components for making a good recovery. First, don’t forget your identity. Second, listen to sound instruction. And third, implement what you’ve heard. Let’s look at each of these in a little more detail.
Don’t forget your identity. In his letter to the Colossians, the Apostle Paul writes, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3). In other words, when we came to Christ, God gave us a new identity. God ransomed us through the death of his son; he purchased us with the precious blood of Christ, and now our life is hidden with Christ in God. Our identity is found in Christ. When those trials hit us out of the blue, don’t lose sight of who you are: You belong to Christ.
Listen to sound instruction. The next thing to do when we drop the ball in some area of life is to listen to sound instruction. Good advice is only hard to come by when we’re not paying attention to the people God has placed in your life. Christianity is not something that’s done in solitude; it’s lived out in the context of relationships. If you’ve been hit hard, look around you, and identify the people in your life who are able to give you sound advice: maybe it’s a mentor, a parent, grandparent, or someone else who’s worked the road you are now on.
Finally, implement what you’ve heard. Good listening needs to be followed up with implementation otherwise we’re wasting our time, and not doing anyone any good. Application or implementation is the final step in making a good recovery. Without it, we’ll be left in a world of hurt. What good is it to hear all the right things, and totally lack the ability to implement it into life. Life application is where it’s at.
Next time, we find ourselves tackled by a 300 lbs proverbial linebacker, let’s not lose sight of our identity; our identity is rooted in Christ. So, remember who you are in the midst of the storm, better yet, remember who’s with you in the midst of the storm. Look around you, and recognize the people God has placed in your life; listen to their input. And most importantly, put godly advice into practice, and that fumble will turn into a winning touchdown.