Another week of heartbreaking football for yours truly, and hours listening to announcers spouting football dogma. It is true that the team that makes the fewest mistakes usually wins, and the individual players need to play “within themselves” and not take “unnecessary chances.” But in any sport, including football, there is a fine line between “going for broke” and playing too cautiously and being frozen by the fear of making a mistake. If an athlete lives in fear of being guilty of a mistake that costs his team the game, he becomes too cautious to ever be successful.
The same is true in life. We hear a lot, especially when somebody does something awful, about “freedom of choice.” God doesn’t want us to live in fear of incurring guilt. God wants his children to operate out of freedom and joy to do what is right and good, not out of fear of making a mistake. God’s wants reflect the same we feel about our own children. We know that if we never let a child ride a bicycle in fear he/she will fall and skin a knee, the child will never know the joy of the breeze in his/her face.
To live in fear and guilt makes us prisoners of our emotions. To act freely may lead to wrong and incurring guilt. In fact it is impossible not to make mistakes and suffer their consequences. But to live fully, responsibly, and as God wants we must be willing to live beyond our fears.
A good coach knows there is the right time to go for the interception, to blitz the quarterback, to throw a bomb, or to call for a fake punt. Fear of guilt associated with a bad result cannot enter the equation. God knows there is a time as they say in your life to “go for it.” Is now the time?