Updated: Apr 21
Fantasy Football continues to grow each year as millions of people are participating and new Fantasy owners are joining. Many young football fans are playing for the first time, while older adults are finally jumping in after years of being encouraged and challenged by their friends.
Although some first-time Fantasy owners win right away and draft a strong team immediately, that’s not normally the case. When newcomers join an established league, the typical expectation is for them to take some time to acclimate so they can clearly understand what Fantasy Football is all about.
Not having the same experience as everyone else, it’s important to be patient with themselves and for their league-mates to be patient with them.
I’ve been playing Fantasy Football since 2004, and most of the guys I compete against have also been playing for a long time. Our expectations are a little different for ourselves and each other, as we’re not going to be given the same kind of leeway and patience as the rookie Fantasy owners.
Since I have so much experience playing Fantasy and watch a lot of football, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from past mistakes and develop strategies and philosophies to find success.
Even though I’ve had some bad seasons with players getting injured beyond my control, because I’ve been committed to Fantasy Football for so long, more is expected of me each season.
The bottom line is, expectations are placed on Fantasy owners based on their experience and the amount of time they devote to the activity. Eventually, Fantasy owners must produce wins and shouldn’t remain at the bottom of the standings forever.
There’s an important parallel to our faith journeys that is worth unpacking today. Countless kids give their lives to Jesus when they are young, while many older adults finally jump in for the first time after years of being encouraged and challenged by their friends.
Either way, when we begin to follow Jesus, some things about our life will change immediately, and we might win in some areas right away, but other mindsets and behaviors will take some time to develop.
At first, the Bible is new to us and we’re learning to follow a completely different way of life that includes activities we’re not used to.
We need some time to get acclimated and fully understand what it means to follow Jesus. Thankfully, He transforms our lives as we learn, grow, and implement His truth.
While patience is needed for new believers, there comes a point where maturity, fruit, and profound life change should be evident. We have to move past making excuses, as we should be experiencing more and more victories in our lives.
Our expectations change and the expectations from others change the longer we walk with Jesus. We don’t want to remain in the same spot as when we first started following Jesus because He has so much more to do in and through us. We should be able to distinguish between obedience and disobedience.
The Bible describes the difference between spiritual infancy and spiritual maturity in Hebrews 5:12-14 (AMP):
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers [because of the time you have had to learn these truths], you actually need someone to teach you again the elementary principles of God’s Word [from the beginning], and you have come to be continually in need of milk, not solid food."
“For everyone who lives on milk is [doctrinally inexperienced and] unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a spiritual infant. But solid food is for the [spiritually] mature, whose senses are trained by practice to distinguish between what is morally good and what is evil.”
Today, let’s not be the Fantasy owners who have been playing for years, yet are still losing. Let’s not remain stuck in life, but, rather, pursue a deeper understanding of God’s Word so our faith will grow and we’ll be more equipped to know what is right…and get more wins!
I’m Bryce Johnson and you can UNPACK that!
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I’m thankful for how long I’ve known You and I pray You’d continue to help me grow and mature so I can understand even deeper spiritual truths. Help me to pursue You with all of my heart and not settle. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
Discussion Questions for PACKS and FFF Leagues:
What areas of your life have taken the longest to change?
In what ways do you still feel like a spiritual infant?
In what ways have you seen the most change or spiritual maturity?