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Intersection of Life and Faith

Words From a Tough Coach

  • Bill Bright Campus Crusade for Christ
  • 2002 8 Aug
Words From a Tough Coach

Dear friends:

The late Vince Lombardi was one of the greatest coaches and motivators who ever lived. He gained fame from coaching the winning NFL professional football team, the Green Bay Packers.

Coach Lombardi was also a tough disciplinarian. He demanded victory, and usually got it. He related his philosophy to life, saying:

"The many hurts seem a small price to pay for having won, and there's no reason at all, which is adequate, for having lost. To the winner, there is 100% elation, 100% laughter, 100% fun... And it is a game, I think, that is a great deal like life in that it demands a man's personal commitment be toward excellence, and be toward victory... it must be pursued with all of one's might... and I want to say that the quality of any man's life has got to be a full measure of that man's personal commitment to excellence and to victory regardless of what field he may be in."

Isn't it amazing that Coach Lombardi could demand -- and get -- total, fanatical commitment from a group of adult and educated men -- commitment to simply a game to move a leather bag full of air (a football) up and down a grassy field?

In view of humanity's ability for total commitment to all manner of causes, is God's demand for commitment to Himself, the great Creator and Savior, unreasonable? As to priorities, could there be any higher?

Speaking of commitment, our Lord said, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose or forfeit your own soul in the process?" (Luke 9:23-25, NLT).

To the winner of a football game, Coach Lombardi said, "There is 100% elation, 100% laughter, 100% fun." We know those are very temporary, fleeting feelings.

But our Lord says, "Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live" (Mark 8:35, LB).

The Lord also gives this glorious promise: "If you love your life down here -- you will lose it. If you despise your life down here (surrender to Christ) -- you will exchange it for eternal glory" (John 12:25, LB).

Such a deal!

Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission
each year until our Lord returns,

Bill Bright

Dr. Bill Bright is founder and chairman of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 25,000 full-time staff and 553,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into more than 730 languages and viewed or listened to by some 5 billion people in 236 countries. Dr. Bright is also the author of more than fifty books. Dr. Bright recently co-founded Global Pastors Network to "Touch, Teach and Train" ministers around the world 24/7/365 at

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