Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera said something profound in a radio interview this week: “You’ll never play fast if you’re confused.” His point was that each player needs to know his assignment…his place…his role…on any given play. Confusion causes hesitation, and hesitation in a fast game like football will likely spell defeat.
But Rivera’s comment has an application far beyond football or other sports. It’s a principle of life, and it applies to me right now far more than I would like to admit.
When I’m clear on my God-given role and assignment, I’m bold…decisive…confident…tenacious. But if I’m confused or double-minded, I’m inevitably timid…hesitant…unsure…and liable to quit when the going gets tough.
This axiom is so important that it impacts every area of our lives: our health, our emotional well-being, our relationships, our career or ministry, and even how we spend our time and money.
So what about you today? Are you walking in CLARITY or CONFUSION?
Perhaps you think confusion is too strong of a word, so let me explain…
“Con-fusion” basically means to fuse together two incompatible things. Sometimes the two things are blatantly opposite: truth and lies, right and wrong, God and Satan, etc.
However, today much of the confusion is more subtle and nuanced. We lived in a confused culture, where a great many incompatible things have been fused together to bring us to where we are today. Although there still are some remnants of a Biblical worldview in our society, most people can’t really distinguish that from what the information they’ve picked up from Oprah, Dr. Phil, CNN, or Cosmopolitan magazine.
Yet when the heat is on and your beliefs are tested, you’ll need to know whether you’re standing on solid ground or whether you’re a victim of confusion. And the truth is that all of us—myself included—have adopted some beliefs that are faulty. The errors seldom are apparent when everything is going our way, but they’re exposed when we face a major trial or crisis.
The Bible says a lot about confusion. “God is not a God of confusion but of peace,” Paul tells us (1 Corinthians 14:33). What a powerful statement! God desires to bring us to a place of peace, while the devil always sows confusion and unrest. That makes it pretty easy to tell who we’ve been listening to, doesn’t it?
And Coach Rivera was correct about how confusion causes hesitation. The prophet Elijah pointed this out to the Israelites, who had fused together worship of Baal with worship of the Lord: “How long will you hesitate between two opinions?” (1 Kings 18:21)
Thankfully, I’m not struggling with whether to worship the Lord or Baal, but I’ve seen recently that I’ve had “two opinions” on some other issues in my life. And I’ve concluded that this subtle confusion has hindered me and slowed me down. At times I’ve even been paralyzed because of uncertainty on my role, my assignment, or my priorities.
So I’m asking God to clear up the confusion in my life—and in yours as well. As we hear His voice again, we’ll return to a place of peace, confidence, and boldness. And we’ll gain new clarity on our mission, enabling us to radically abandon ourselves toward its fulfillment.