Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. Be very sure now, you who have been trained to a self-sufficient maturity, that you enter into a generous common life with those who have trained you, sharing all the good things that you have and experience.
Don't be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others - ignoring God! - harvests a crop of weeds. All he'll have to show for his life is weeds!
But the one who plants in response to God, letting God's Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit.
As footballers we have all been blessed with different skills and abilities - some of us are fast, some slow, some can score goals, some defend well, some of us are great goalkeepers. We all have things that we can do well. What we do with the skills and abilities we have been given, however, is down to us and our attitude.
In training we have a choice of working hard to improve ourselves or we can be lazy and stay at the same level. We can always be on time, always listen to our coaches and do our best or we can show up late, never listen to anything our coach says and put in the minimal amount of effort. The choice, ultimately, is ours.
The passage from the Bible that we have just read speaks about this very issue and very clearly shows that our attitude and what we do with our gifts is important. There is a phrase in the I.T. world which is ‘G.I.G.O’ which stands for ‘garbage in, garbage out’, meaning that if we put useless data into a computer system we will get useless data out of it again.
This is what the passage from the Bible is telling us - that if we waste our talents and gifts we will get nothing in return. We must work hard and have a good attitude to succeed. God does not expect us to be perfect but he does expect us to try our best to live our lives for him and to do what he says. This includes living a moral life and trying to do what is good, taking responsibility for our own actions.
As we come along to training week after week it is good to do our best and try our hardest. The same is true of life. It is important, no matter what you are doing, to try as hard as you can and show that you have a good attitude. By doing this you are getting better at what you are doing and also proving to anyone who is watching that you have a good attitude and are prepared to work hard.