Watch Yourself!

“Watch your life … closely” 1 Timothy 4:16

In 1989, while coaching the Treverton College First Team Rugby Squad, I was injured. It happened because I failed to pay careful attention to what I was saying and doing.  According to the players (to this day I still have no recollection of the incident due to memory loss) I gave an instruction for the pack of forwards to come up to me, rip the ball from my hands, and make it available to the back line players.

The forwards hurtled into the exercise with the abandonment of vigorous eighteen year olds in prime physical condition. In their enthusiasm they bulldozed me into the dirt, stomped all over me, and charged on. Dazed and bemused I struggled to my feet and proceeded with the training session. I repeated a “new” drill several times when it was only necessary to do it once. And I concluded by doing the warm down routine four times instead of once. By this stage the players were bewildered. That’s not surprising. For none of us realised I had suffered a serious concussion, lost my short term memory and some long term memory, and would take some weeks to get it back. I still have no recollection of the incident apart from what others have told me.

As I look back on it all, I have to admit it was my own fault. I had intended to tell the players to walk through the drill but forgot a detail and ended up paying a penalty for my inattentiveness.

Don’t make the same mistake. Pay attention to what you say and do. Be on your guard. “Watch your life … closely” 1 Timothy 4:16. “Set an example … in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” 1 Timothy 4:12.  “Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress” and in this way “you will save both yourself and your hearers” 1 Timothy 4:15-16.

Be the keeper of your vineyard,

Watch your life and teaching closely.

Give others an example,

Of the Saviour who is holy.

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