Lady Byng (Philippians 2:3)

“What professional sport awards the Lady Byng Trophy for best sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability?”

I was playing a trivia game with my cousin Jake and was stymied by this question. After a thoughtful pause, my cousin said, “Hockey.”

“Correct!” replied the moderator.

I was impressed. “Jake! That was amazing! How did you know that?” We were both teenagers growing up in Hawaii, a state not known for its avid following of professional hockey.

Jake smiled and said, “I just reasoned that it would have to be a sport that was known for its rough play. For me, it came down to football and hockey and since I never heard of this award in football, I chose hockey!”

Very perceptive.

Years later, I still find it ironic that an award has to be given for good sportsmanship. This principle of playing or watching a sport and treating all participants with respect should be inculcated in all participants from day one. Sadly, there are far more examples of the opposite attitude and it is not surprising that this bad behavior has extended far outside the playing field and sports arenas. If we fail to display these characteristics in sports, why would our everyday lives be any different?

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Philippians 2:3 (ESV)

Like the Lady Byng trophy, we need to celebrate good behavior. It should not be an annual award but an everyday occurrence. If we attempt to accomplish this by our own efforts, we will often fail. Only by surrendering control of our lives and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, will we be able to begin the healing that this world so desperately needs. Life, like sports, can be very rough. We can rise above our circumstances and refuse to accept the low standards of acceptable behavior that the world has seemingly embraced.

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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