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Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Today’s post explores the message behind Jesus’s parable in Matthew 21:28-32, in which he emphasizes that sincerity is more important than merely saying the right words or making empty promises. His parable teaches us that actions speak louder than words and that what's in our hearts is more important than what comes out of our mouths. These lessons are particularly relevant for a college volleyball team, where players' actions and dedication to their goals are crucial for success. As a coach, I believe being a good teammate means demonstrating loyalty and commitment through action, not just words.

Let’s start at the beginning… Matthew 21:28-32 tells a story of two sons who were asked by their father to work in the vineyard. The first son initially said no but later had a change of heart and went to work, while the second son originally agreed but did not follow through. When asked which son did the father's will, the priests and elders replied that it was the first son who went to work.

This parable displays how actions usually speak louder than words and how what's in our hearts is more important than what comes out of our mouths. The second son may have said all the right things by initially agreeing to work, but his actions revealed that he was unreliable and inconsistent. In contrast, the first son may have initially refused, but his change of heart and subsequent actions demonstrated genuine respect for his father.

So, the message is that the sincerity of our hearts and actions is more important than merely saying what people want to hear or making empty promises. What matters is what we genuinely believe and if our efforts align with those beliefs.

On a college volleyball team, athletes may say that they are committed to the team and desire to win, but it’s their actions (on the court, on social media, in practice, in the dorms, etc.) that truly reflect their dedication and loyalty. Like the second son in Matthew 21:28-32, a player may say all the right things and put on a pretty front, but if their actions don't support those words, they’ll never be a valuable asset to the program.

Similarly, a player who may have initially lacked confidence in their abilities but showed a willingness to learn and improve, and worked their tails off to improve, will be more valuable to the team than one who talks a lot but doesn't follow through. Like in the parable, a person's actions and dedication are more important than being a good talker.

As a coach, I believe good communicative teammates not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. Athletes need to demonstrate their dedication and commitment in action, just like the son in Matthew 21:28-32 who initially refused to work in the vineyard but then ultimately followed through. An athlete who may not appear to be the most skilled or dedicated at first can prove themselves as a valuable team member through their hard work and dedication to improving their physical and mental abilities.

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