Every year NFL teams add new players to their roster through the draft. With no professional experience, rookies out of college enter a faster and more intense game with bigger and stronger opponents. image (1)

Even so, first round picks are expected to have an immediate effect on the team’s success as soon as they step onto the field. Since they are paid well and the team used their top draft choice on them, there is pressure to figure things out quickly and contribute from the get-go.

The reality is, rookies are going to make many mistakes during their first year – even those who end up being stars eventually. Thinking these young guys are going to blow away the competition in their first year is unreasonable.

There are always exceptions, but most NFL rookies have to endure an adjustment period before truly understanding what it takes to have an impact on the game. It’s important for teammates, coaches, fans, and the media to give these players grace as they develop skills and confidence.

I think there is a similar mindset that followers of Jesus should have toward new believers. When someone gives their life to Christ, they are a new creation. In order for them to grow and mature in faith, it takes time.

During the adjustment period of learning about their new life, we must be patient and encouraging. We must remember that we were once a “rookie” too.

I think staying true to Colossians 3:12 can help in this particular area of life: Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

If we’ve been walking with Jesus for awhile, let’s set a great example to the rookies, while embracing an attitude of grace, humility, and patience. Let’s be gentle and kind as they learn, make mistakes, fumble the ball, and drop passes.

Let’s always hold each other accountable and push each other toward growth and a closeness with Jesus…remembering we all begin as a rookie. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I’m thankful I’ve been shown grace while growing and walking with Jesus. Please help me to be patient with others who are beginning a new life with You. Help me to be encouraging and challenging, while giving them the abundant grace they need. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.