I participate in a small group each week with local coaches. Recently we discussed a book by Jimmy Dykes entitled The Film Doesn’t Lie. Jimmy is an on-air personality for ESPN. He has served as an assistant coach for several major college basketball programs and as the head coach of the women’s basketball team at the University of Arkansas.

Coaches are constantly evaluating film, film of their team as well as the opposing team. Jimmy takes the analogy of watching a film and applies it to reflect on our own lives. Here are my 5 Thursday Thoughts from The Film Doesn’t Lie

The Film Doesn’t Lie

We are who we are. We can pretend we do not act a certain way or that a particular habit or behavior is not a problem, but our actions prove otherwise. Dykes shares about how players can walk into a film room, see what they did wrong, and still want to argue they did not do it. The film tells the correct story. It does not matter what story you are telling in your mind.

We are constantly fooling ourselves into believing we are not how everyone else views us, but the film doesn’t lie. We cannot judge ourselves by our intentions while ignoring our actions.

Self-Reflection Is Necessary

The book offers a quote from Leo Tolstoy, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves.” The only way to make the necessary changes is to practice self-reflection. The goal is not for there to be an end but for there to be constant growth. We must possess a constant awareness of where we need to improve and how we can improve. You cannot correct areas you are unwilling to confront. Self-reflection gives us the insight we need to make the necessary corrections.

Celebrity Disciples

Almost every chapter introduces a famous athlete or coach who is walking in a relationship with Christ. Their process of discipleship looks like mine and yours. It requires a consistent relationship with God. It is encouraging to see men and women of such influence practicing spiritual disciplines that allow them to live a godly life and influence those around them. 

Common Struggles

It does not matter if you are a star athlete making millions of dollars per year or an hourly blue-collar employee working on an assembly line; we all have similar struggles. We all must sanctify our minds and our attitudes. Temptations and struggles are common to every single person. Do not believe that if you achieve a certain social or financial status, you will find it easier to become like Christ. Becoming like Christ is a daily discipline that is the same regardless of your station of life. 

Partial Obedience Is Not Obedience

This subtitle is the title of the last chapter in this book. Shortcuts are not a long-term strategy for winning. When we know what to do, fully committing ourselves to it is the only path to success. Obedience is one of the few things we have complete control over. When I know what to do but choose not to do it, I have sinned. Dykes uses the example of running sprints and touching the line before sprinting back. Players will sometimes turn back before touching the line hoping that no one is looking. Not touching the line causes everyone to have to line up and do it again. We repeat many things in our lives, not because we do not know what to do, but because we do not completely follow through with what we know to do. We didn’t touch the line. Full obedience is the only solution.

The Film Doesn’t Lie is a good book for a small group discussion. It is especially suited for men or women who have an interest in sports. It offers a discipleship tool with analogies to the sports world that make it interesting for the sports fan.