Are you a spectator or a player?


It’s almost finals time in the AFL and for the next few weeks we’ll hear about football, football and more football.

It’s time for all the armchair critics to surface once again. Thousands of people who have watched endless games of footy on TV will come up with better game strategies than all the coaches and players.

Funny how we all suddenly become experts when we’re on the sidelines. It’s always easy to see how things can be done better and criticise those who are actually out there having a go. Why would we want to put ourselves on the line and actually do something when we find it so much easier to stay where we are and find fault?

Of course that kind of attitude isn’t just reserved for football or other sports. We see it happening in every area of life don’t we?

Those in public office need to be kept accountable but so often those trying to call our leaders to account have never bothered themselves with trying to do something to benefit the wider community themselves. With an Australian Federal Election just over a week away are we sitting on the sidelines shouting about what our politicians are doing wrong or are we working for a better, fairer country?

We like to criticise people in all kinds of leadership roles but we’re often less keen to take on the responsibilities that leaders accept. Whether it’s at work, politics, sporting clubs, churches or anywhere else, there are always those who will be prepared to give of their wisdom but not so many who will give of their time, resources and efforts.

Life isn’t a spectator sport. If you want to be one of the ones making the rules and deciding on directions, get onto the field and get involved. But beware, once you start playing you need to be ready to face the spectators who invariably think they know better.

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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  • While your AFL is about to end, our NFL is about to begin. (Boo) I won’t be watching or rooting so no arm chair-ing for me. But I do know what you are trying to say from a pastor’s perspective. Those who don’t are the ones who do. (Don’t work and do criticize). It’s almost like I want to have a recliner in the auditorium for those folks to sit in.

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