The word “young” carries particular significance for college football fans.  It is full of hope, yet resigned to a mediocre or worse present.  I think it’s basically a way for coaches, fans and sports writers to safely lower expectations.  “Sure, they can’t block, tackle, or correctly identify their team uniforms. But what do you expect?  They’re young.”

I just read an interesting article regarding one program that might be said to have underachieved in recent years.  And early reports indicate they will continue to overachieve in the underachieving department.  What’s the rationale this year?  They’re young.

I’m not necessarily questioning the team’s youth.  But the article also pointed out quotes from eight of the last nine seasons — all of which rationalized the team’s poor play on the basis of being “young.”  Hmmm.

For those unacquainted with the nuances of college athletics, let me explain something.  A student-athlete gets four years of eligibility.  By the end of that four years, he or she is older than when he or she first enrolled in college.  That’s science.  Age happens.

You can’t plead youth forever.  Failure to mature is a sign of a serious and perhaps fatal condition.  Whether the condition is medical, developmental, or intellectual, we must move forward.

This brings us inevitably to Hebrews 5:11-14, the classic go-to text for condemning perpetual spiritual infancy.  We can continue to use youth as an excuse for underachievement, or we can “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). 

I suggest the latter.  After all, if we have no intention of getting better, what are we playing the game for

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