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A bat, ball and glove sitting on a wooden bench beside a baseball diamond illustrate what it feels like to be benched.

Benched: A Daily Meditation 

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Have you ever experienced a sense of being benched in life, like an athlete sidelined by their coach? This analogy extends to our spiritual journey as well. In Galatians 5:7-8, the Apostle Paul wrote to a group of Christians who had gone astray:

“You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom.” 

Galatians 5:7-8, New Living Translation

In our spiritual lives, disregarding God’s will can cause setbacks, similar to athletes benched by their coach for ignoring instructions. The feeling of being benched by God often stems from straying into sin or listening to misleading voices. Paul saw this in the Galatian church when false teachers misled Christians into works-based faith rather than God’s abundant grace. 

However, just as athletes get chances to redeem themselves, God, like a loving parent in the Bible, stands ready to forgive and welcome us back. Reflecting on past spiritual victories can serve as a reminder of God’s faithfulness and our need to realign with His truth. 

Paul’s concern for the Galatian Christians mirrors God’s concern for us when we stumble. Just like yeast can affect dough, false teachings can subtly creep into our beliefs and disrupt our relationship with God. It’s important to recognize and correct these influences to stay on track. 

The struggles Moses, David, and Peter faced show us that even the most faithful can experience moments of being benched spiritually. Returning to God and seeking His guidance is essential during these moments. Paul emphasized the importance of encouragement and trust in our ability to realign with the truth for our spiritual growth. 

Jesus alone, as the Bible emphasizes, offers true freedom. While the world promotes freedom as the ability to do what one wants, real liberation from sin comes through a relationship with Christ. Embracing this truth allows us to break free from spiritual benching and walk in the fullness of God’s grace. 


Dear Father, thank you again for this marvelous truth. Your Word says you are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. Thank you for your patience with me. Father, I ask that you will draw me closer. Help me to be more like You. Guide my path. It’s in your Son’s name that I pray. Amen.   


Listen now to the short version of this Abide meditation, “Benched,” based on Galatians 5:7-8. Let God speak to your heart about what to do when you feel sidelined by sin.

Let Abide be your daily companion as you seek God. Our guided meditations, like the one above, all exist to help you stay in the game with God. Download the app and start a premium subscription. This will gain you access to our more than 1500 meditations. Use this link for 25% off.


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