The Detroit Lions released the names of their coaching staff for the upcoming season. For fans of the Motor City Kitties reviewing the coaches list, there is one name that might come as a surprise to you. The wide receiver coach is none other than Robert Prince. Not yours truly, another Robert Prince. I probably couldn’t help the Lions wide receivers much other than say things like “Run faster” and “Catch the Ball.” After watching 55 years of Lions futility, it’s my observation that the past wide receiver coaches failed to give those two important instructions. Maybe I could coach them after all. How much worse could I do?
I hope the other Robert Prince is a good coach, because I’d love to see the Lions win something before I die. The Lions have won exactly one playoff game in my lifetime. To put that in perspective, the New England Patriots have 36 playoff wins (in less years). So good luck to you, Robert Prince! Coach them well!
Could you imagine if somehow, I went to Ford Field and passed myself off to the security guards as the other Robert Prince. I have learned the other Robert Prince coached at Boise State (I’ve never been to Idaho), coached in the Japanese X-League (Japan has a football league?) and is African American (this might pose a challenge to pass myself off as him). I seriously doubt I could fool anyone that I am the other Robert Prince. But if I could sneak by a guard, and make it to the field as soon as it came time to call real football plays to real players in real helmets and uniforms, my lack of football knowledge would become abundantly clear. No matter what name we share, it wouldn’t take long for people to know I wasn’t that Robert Prince.
In the same way, people can call themselves “Christian,” but it doesn’t take much observation to discover if their “Christianity” is in name only. Jesus said, “By their fruit you will recognize them” (Matthew 7:16). Not by their words or calling themselves a “Christian” or occasionally sitting in a pew at church, but their fruit determines whose they are. If a person is stirring up trouble, spreading lies, causing dissention, never tithing, bitter, and not building up the body of Christ but tearing it apart, then his or her “fruit” will be sour and unappealing. Conversely, for the true followers of Jesus, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”(Galatians 5:22-23). No matter what name people may call themselves their fruit (or lack thereof) gives away their true self.
I will never be confused with the Detroit Lions wide receivers coach, but I hope the fruit of the Spirit is evident in my life. By the way, years ago the service manager at a local car dealer was also named Robert Prince. Guess what? Just as I can’t coach football, I can’t fix cars. But I can tell you what Jesus has done in my life, how He can work in yours and share as much godly fruit with as many people as I can. You can too. Be a fruitful Christian!