Alabama football has easily run through teams this season. Despite Texas A&M making it interesting on Saturday, the Crimson Tide has dominated most games and remain undefeated at 6-0.
Year after year, Alabama makes their way into the championship conversation. Head coach, Nick Saban, always seems to know how to keep his team engaged and very well prepared.
With Alabama’s success this season, the media is offering up plenty of praise. However, Saban doesn’t buy into their recognition and actually thinks it’s detrimental to his players.
This is what he recently said in response:
“I’m trying to get our players to listen to me instead of listening to you guys. All that stuff that you write about how good we are and all that stuff they get on ESPN is like poison.
“It’s like taking poison. Like rat poison. I’m asking them, ‘Are you going to listen to me or are you going to listen to these guys about how good you are?’”
Hearing a head coach complain about the media’s positive comments about his team sounds a bit unusual, but his point does makes sense. When players get caught up in the headlines, thinking they’re so great, they can lose focus and stop working as hard.
As we consider this today, it’s not only dangerous when a football team allows praise for accomplishments to go to their heads, but also when we do. Once we start thinking we are so great on our own, and stop listening to our “head coach,” we can unintentionally become prideful.
The Bible says in Proverbs 11:2 (ESV), “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”
Proverbs 16:5 warns that “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.”
As followers of Jesus, we should have immense confidence in how God views us as His beloved children. We should walk boldly because of the power we have within us.
But at the same time, we must remember how much we need Him and the importance of hearing His voice above the noise of everyone else.
We can’t allow the successes of the world lead us to think we can do anything apart from God. Instead, we need to humbly recognize our desperation for His leading and strength.
The arrogance and pride that come when we think we can do things our own way can end up being like “poison” that actually destroys us.
Galatians 6:3 (ESV) tells us, “For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”
The praises of man are fleeting, but God is almighty and His glory reigns forever. When we choose humility, we are acknowledging that every good thing comes from Him.
Today, let’s allow our lives to reflect God, and shift our praise back to the source of success. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I enjoy hearing good things said about me. I pray that I wouldn’t allow the kindness lead to pride, but instead be an encouragement that reminds me of Your goodness and faithfulness in my life. I pray I would live a life of humility. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.