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For Whom Are You Playing?

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."1

Perhaps you have read the story told by Coach Bertman, the successful athletic director at Louisiana State University. But it's well worth a reminder in how it helps if we're playing and/or working for someone else. Here's the story as told by Michael Josephson in Character Counts.

"Coach Bertman emphasized the idea that his players were never simply acting for themselves. He reminded them: 'You represent LSU, your family and your Maker.'"

On one occasion "he told a story about a young man named John who played football for Columbia University in the 1930s. Well, actually, John was on the squad because he had a terrific attitude, but he was a bench warmer who hadn't been in a single game.

"During his senior year, John's father died. When he returned from the funeral he asked his coach if he could start in the next game to honor his dad. The coach couldn't refuse, but he warned John that it probably would be only for a few plays.

"To the coach's surprise, John played so well that he was declared the game's most valuable player. When the coach asked John how he was able to play at such a high level after just losing his father, John said, 'You know, coach, my dad came to every game. You probably saw me walking with him holding his arm. That's because he was blind. Well, I figure today was the first time he ever saw me play. I was playing for my daddy.'"2

I'm not going to argue whether John's dad saw his son play or not. But it's certainly true in that whatever we as Christians do, we'll do it better if and when we do it as unto the Lord knowing that He sees all and that He keeps the final score.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, in all that I do, please help me to do it as unto you, so that I will always put forth my best effort to help others and to glorify you. And please help me to remember that I am never out of your sight. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Colossians 3:23 (NIV).
2. Michael Josephson, Character Counts. You can subscribe to Michael Josephson's Character Counts inspiring weekly email at


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.