UCLA quarterback, Josh Rosen, recently made some comments that caused a major reaction among athletes, media, and fans.

In an interview with Bleacher Report he said, “Look, football and school don’t go together. They just don’t. Trying to do both is like trying to do two full-time jobs.”

He went on to say, “Human beings don’t belong in school with our schedules. No one in their right mind should have a football player’s schedule, and go to school.”

He started a nationwide debate where people have many different perspectives on student-athletes, expectations, schedules, and the difficulty level of balancing athletics with education.

For the purpose of today’s devotional, I’m going to say that Rosen is correct and accept the premise that “football and school don’t go together.”

College football is big business, and the success of a team is extremely important to the university and to the head coaches making millions of dollars.

Do we really think a coach cares about a player spending extra time on his group science project? Or would a coach rather have his star quarterback study the playbook in preparation for the upcoming rivalry game?

Playing big time college football takes a tremendous commitment, and so does getting a degree from a top university – especially a major that sets up someone for a high-level job.

So how do we expect a 20-year-old to balance class, studying, and projects with practice, travel, games, and team meetings…not to mention any kind of social life or down time?

When looking at it from this perspective, clearly “football and school don’t go together” – at least if you want to give your all to both.

This principle is true in life, as well as, when we follow Jesus. Simply put, there are things that just don’t go together.

If our heart is truly surrendered to following God’s direction, then there are activities and mindsets that no longer fit into our new life. We can’t love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength while also being all-in on pursuing worldly things for selfish gain.

The “college football mindset” of wanting to have it all (a great education and a successful football career), translates to us wanting the blessings of God and the fun of worldly pleasures.

This doesn’t work in the long run because compromises begin to take place, and one side or the other eventually takes priority. Just like “football and school don’t go together,” God’s ways and selfish ambition don’t go together.

The Bible says in James 3:13-18 (NLT):

If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying.

“For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.”

Today, as people try to argue a full-time college football player can also be a full-time student, let’s remember that there are things that no longer go together when we go all-in on the life God has called us.

I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please give me the strength to leave my old mindsets and activities behind, instead of trying to hold onto selfish or worldly pleasures. I want to follow You and be all-in, so please show me the things that no longer go together. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.