by Tom Oestreich

helmetSabotage: An undermining of a cause, an underhand interference with production, work, etc.; to disable, vandalize, cripple. 
Entering the 1993 NFL season, the Houston Oilers were considered to be the Super Bowl favorites by many; except for those of us who are Dallas Cowboys fans! With great players like Warren Moon, the Oilers were the hottest team in the NFL heading into the playoffs at the end of the 1993 season.
Despite their poor start (four losses in their first five games), the Oilers went on a remarkable 11–0 run to finish the season, ending up tied for the best record in the NFL, at 12–4.  
Many were predicting an All-Texas Super Bowl of Dallas vs. Houston; predicting it to be a very close Super Bowl as Houston appeared to be almost unstoppable.
But instead of a run to a Super Bowl title, the 1993 season was ended filled with turmoil, dysfunction and heartbreak. Gossip and rumors single-handedly destroyed this great team.
DangerJust before or during the play-offs, Buddy Ryan, the defensive coordinator of the Houston Oilers, started some dissention amongst the players. Ryan had been criticizing offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride’s “run and shoot” offense. 
The tension that existed between Buddy Ryan and Kevin Gilbride grew so bad thatduring the season finale against the New York Jets, Ryan attempted to punch Gilbride while they were on the sidelines.
It started off as a little gossip; some little rumors; some little opinions and eventually grew into a firestorm that completely destroyed the Oilers’ ability to play as a team. This once almost invincible team was now a total loss.
So, where have you sabotaged your relationships? Where have you allowed rumors or gossip or slander to sabotage your family, friends, workplace, church, or your very life?
The antonyms for “sabotage” are: devotion, faithfulness, fidelity, loyalty, aiding, assistance, fix, and help.
The Bible asks the question; “Do two people walk hand in hand if they aren’t going to the same place?” (Amos 3:3 MSG)
Another way of saying it would be; “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (NKJV)
The Apostle John wrote; “If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.” (1 John 4:20-21 MSG) 
My exhortation to us all today is:
  • Love one another
  • Care for each other
  • Forgive each other’s mistakes
Then we will all be bound closer together.
And not sabotage the good that is going on in our lives.

Tom Oestreich has been active in several areas of ministry over the years and now invests his passion for restoration and reconciliation in his ministry at Teen Challenge, River of Hope Ministries, and writing on his blog where this article first appeared.
Scripture from:
The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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