The Most Faithful Win Of All

I don’t really keep up on sports but I do live in a home where several family members love sports. Sports are talked about a lot. It’s fun to listen in and sit together watching games.

My husband started telling me the story about the University of Virginia basketball team and then our Pastor brought it up in church last weekend. It started me thinking about how we are similar.

In 2018, it was the ONLY time that a number one ranked team lost to a number sixteen ranked team in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Ever.

Imagine the disappointment of being that team.

Imagine the embarrassment. The grief. The sadness.


After the initial disappointment fades, then imagine the drive and determination they would have all year long to make it different next time.

And they did…

This year they WON the entire tournament.

They were CHAMPIONS!

It was their first EVER national title.

They bounced back from losing to a No. 16 seed to WIN the national championship.

Tony Bennett, the Virginia coach, a Christian man, said that after their win and as the players stormed the court he paused and prayed,

“I’m humbled, Lord, because I don’t deserve to be in this spot, but you chose me to be here.”

Ahhh. The glory of being champions!

I went on to read that some people call Virginia’s style of basketball boring. The basics aren’t glamorous. Their team has a saying: “the most faithful win.”

Bennet said his team was faithful.

What does faithful mean?

Faithful is being steadfast in affection or allegiance, loyal; Firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty, conscientious.

Faithful in the basics. Steadfast in the little things. Adhering to the plan. Conscientious of the essentials. Loyal to the team and its mission.

I thought about ways we as Christians can be faithful, steadfast in the basics.

Faithful to surrender.

Lord, use me how you wish. Whatever you want from me. Help me surrender.

“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”
Romans 12:1

Faithful to be molded.

Teach me and grow me. I want to be clay in your hands. Mold me to be the person You want me to be.

“3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.” 
Jeremiah 18:3-4

Faithful to follow.

I’ll follow your lead. Make it clear, Lord. Help me to step back and look at your leading.

“Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.”
Deuteronomy 5:33

Faithful to love.

Love is always the best option. We’re supposed to love God, love others, and love our enemies…even when it’s hard.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” 
Mark 12:30-31

From Failing to Winning.

I think of the Virginia team…failing worse than any other team has failed (losing to a No. 16 team) and coming back to win like they never had before. All because they were faithful to the basics, trying to have “the most faithful win.”

What can we learn from their example?

That we fail worse than we ever thought possible. And it’s okay. He’s got us. He loves us and died for us.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 
1 John 1:9

We come back to win, through Christ, like never before.

“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:57

We can take a moment to pray just as Mr. Bennet did…

“I’m humbled, Lord, because I don’t deserve to be in this spot, but you chose me to be here.”

Thank you, Lord! Help me to live faithfully.

In Him,

Tracy, Simply Squared Away

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