North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

Throughout my competitive sports career I was fortunate to be relatively injury-free. When I did have a setback, my spirit and drive to get back out there and run was never quenched. I didn’t shy away mentally from being involved in my sport. Every athlete that experiences an injury has to deal with the mental recovery as well as the physical. Sometimes the mental recovery is harder than the physical rehabilitation needed to get back in the game. I’ve known athletes to continue to participate in their sport even while hurt. But I’ve also seen players give up altogether when the going gets tough.
It was reported in 1985 that NFL football star Ronnie Lott of the San Francisco 49ers crushed a finger on his left-hand while playing in a game. He had the trainers’ tape it and he continued to play. In fact, he finished out the whole season with a taped finger. At the end of the season, he had it amputated. He had continued to stay in the game despite being hurt.
When it comes to relationships, it’s not a matter of if, but when you’re going to get your feelings hurt. I’ve worked in several church staff positions and I’ve seen many people get offended and feelings hurt because of things said to them. It’s your responsibility to play through the pain. Jesus knows all about these difficulties and he even addressed them when he said, “The person is happy who is not ashamed of me and does not turn away because of me” (Matthew 11:6). He challenged his followers to not fall away or drop their service even if they were offended by him.
There are times an athlete goes into the locker room with a sprained ankle, bloodied nose, and sore muscles. But a strong team player will do what has to be done to get back in the game. The team player says, “Wrap it, tape it, stitch me up and let me get back in the game. My team needs me.”
All too often in the church people get hurt or offended and they don’t come back on to the field. They stay in the locker room or they go home and whine to themselves or they complain to anyone who will listen. Some never come back and this is exactly where Satan wants them—out of the game and off the court. We have a biblical example of this in King Saul and David. Read the words of 1 Samuel 18:7-10, “As they danced, they sang, Saul has killed thousands of men. David has killed tens of thousands. The song made Saul very angry. It really upset him. From that time on, Saul became very jealous of David. So he watched him closely. An evil spirit came on Saul.” Though they were on the same team (army), Saul grew jealous and tried to kill David. Even though David was greatly offended and hurt, he never struck back. And he held no grudges. Instead, he faithfully withstood Saul’s harsh treatment. The result was his eventual promotion to a place of honor.
Have you been treated unfairly and become bitter? If so, it’s time to let it go, get back in the game, and get with it for Christ. Sometimes you have to play hurt. Your church needs you and victory awaits the one who plays hard to the end. Ephesians 5:14 says, “Wake up you who are sleeping. Rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.” Every child of God needs to be about his Father’s business. The following points can help encourage you to move past the hurt and get back in the game.
First, “Get up and come to Christ”. Don’t let life or others keep you down. We are reminded to come to Christ and he’ll give us rest (Matthew 11:28). To be spiritually and positively alive you need to get up and leave your doubts, fears, hurt feelings, and resentments. Get up from selfish pursuits, the love of money and pleasure, and come to Christ.
Secondly, “Get down and confess to Christ”. Everyone, regardless of their background, need to confess their dependence on God with humility and true repentance. 1 John 1:9 says, “God is faithful and fair. If we admit we’ve sinned, He will forgive every wrong thing we’ve done.” People should confess their faults, failures, and frustrations. We should give forgiveness when asked and repent for being lazy and unconcerned for the important things in life.
Thirdly, “Get in and commit to Christ”. When a person holds onto bitterness and anger it’s impossible to fully know God’s love. We can’t serve two masters. We must surrender all to Christ, stop playing around the edges, and launch out into the deep (Luke 5:4).
Finally, “Get out and conquer for Christ”. Many people, even Christians are not with it when it comes to doing God’s work. Some are too busy with personal pursuits, some are shy, and some are spiritually lazy. Our job is to get with it for Christ and not feel sorry for ourselves. We need to quit warming the bench and get out and fight evil. We need to be praying for one another and share what Christ has done for us. Adopt the motto: “Go with God”. You can be sure He’ll go with you (Matthew 28:20). When you forget self-interest, then you become an All-Star on God’s team. Despite being beaten, battered, and bruised you are more than a conqueror because God says you are!
• This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and is a Captain (CPT) in the U.S. Army Reserves Chaplain Corp. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at

Posted by on Nov 30 2014. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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