UNPACK this

Nick Saban and Election Day

Published on November 11, 2016 | By

This week, we have experienced one of the most anticipated and talked about elections in American history. Most everyone has been expressing an opinion about the polarizing results, and even sports fans like me have put sports talk on hold to take an interest in the presidential election.

It turns out, however, there is at least one person who hasn't been quite as aware of the political craziness. When asked if he wanted to give his thoughts on the election, legendary Alabama head football coach, Nick Saban, made this comment during a press conference on Wednesday:

"Well to be honest with you, I didn't even know yesterday was election day. It was so important to me that I didn't even know it was happening. We're focused on other things here."

I find it hard to believe Saban wouldn’t know about this major political event, but I’ll take him at his word. After all, he’s an extremely successful college football coach who has consistently demonstrated the level of focus, sacrifice, and commitment required to be rewarded with continuous winning. Many of us can relate to being so wrapped up in our own interests, desires, or day to day life that we block out everything else, not just politics. We don't want to be distracted by any outside noise and we only want to do what we want to do.

But I would argue we need to be careful about this mindset, and consider the many drawbacks. When we lose sight of what’s happening around us, and live in our own little world, we stop noticing when our co-workers or neighbors are struggling, or our friends and family are hurting. Our lives tend to reflect the words that Saban expressed: "We’re focused on other things here.”

As followers of Jesus, however, we need to have a different philosophy on life. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 18:1 (NLT), “Unfriendly people care only about themselves; they lash out at common sense.” Also, Proverbs 21:13 (NLT) says, “Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need.”

If we can choose to shift our focus away from ourselves and become more aware of Jesus’ presence in our lives, we will become more interested in others and what’s taking place around us.

As Philippians 2:3-4 (NLT) says, "Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.”

I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I admit I like to stay focused on my own priorities and I don’t like to be distracted by other people or their problems. I pray that I would have more of a loving and compassionate heart to consider others more than myself. Please help me not to be so selfish and instead see what’s happening around me. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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