I don’t know if I’ve told you, but I love basketball.
And I understand the game because I grew up in a community where the head coach made sure even the youngest Little Dribbler learned the fundamentals. His name was Dean Weese. I’m not exactly sure how many years he coached altogether, but I do remember being a part of his legacy in Levelland, Texas. Coach Weese took our girl’s basketball team to the State Championship all my years in high school and beyond.
I was also honored to play with one of the best. Her name was Terri Meyer (White). When we were younger, we played all the time–but she was definitely the more dedicated and talented player. Terri eventually won an All-American award in basketball and even has two Final Four rings today (one as a player and one as a coach).
I’ve often said, “I may not have been the best, but I played with the best and for the best.”
And that’s what you need to understand about life.
Too often people focus on their shortcomings and compare themselves to the “great” and forget what’s truly important.
The writer of Hebrews said, “For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:13-14).
Do you understand that I became “skillful” in basketball, not because I had all the talent, but because I was positioned to learn and apply. In other words, “by reason of use” I became skilled both in knowledge and application. I went to basketball camps, played for hours in the gym and in the front yard, and was even assigned to coach a young team–all for training.
In the same way, God has positioned you and I to be trained also. He is the BEST coach. He has given us the PLAY BOOK. And with Jesus and the Holy Spirit on our team, it doesn’t matter what talent you think you have or don’t have, you are playing WITH THE BEST. And they can make you look good!
It’s only by reason of use. Listen to these other translations of Hebrews 5:
- “All those who live on milk lack the experience to talk about what is right. They are still babes. However, solid food is for mature people, whose minds are trained by practice to know the difference between good and evil” (God’s Word).
- “For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong” (New Living).
I don’t have to be Billy Graham or Kenneth Hagin to be skilled in righteousness. God has given every one of us the opportunity through His Word to become skilled by reason of use. In other words, we’re just gonna have to get in the game! (Forgive my grammar.) But you know what I mean?
My sophomore year, I broke my nose playing basketball and had to wear an ugly mask if I wanted to keep playing. Teenage girls don’t like to be ugly, but I was dedicated because I loved the game, my teammates, and my coach.
Life is ugly sometimes. But even now, I don’t quit because I love my teammates, my Coach, and I believe all the promises that in the end, we win!
So remember: Learn God’s Word. Apply God’s Word. Become skilled in righteousness! You’re playing with and for the best!