Recently I sat in the stands of a middle school basketball game. A couple things happened that caused lots of emotions to rise up in me.
The guys were playing so well, with lots of determination and heart. It was a joy to watch them play and see how much they have improved over the season.
But then the shouting started.
One of the coaches on the other team and lots of the parents were yelling at the refs and basically throwing fits. It was embarrassing to watch.
First of all, it’s a middle school game. The kids are learning the sport and are there to have fun. No one is getting recruited to college right now. No one is going to make it big in the pros because of this game. It’s to learn the fundamentals, learn how to play on a team, and have fun.
Secondly, I’ve been to a pretty large number of sporting events in my life. And even on the pro level, there are few times that the refs actually lose a game for the team. You can’t control the calls the refs make. So you better play your best and do what you can to win. And in the end you know, whether you win or lose, you played your hardest and the refs are not to blame. It made me think of something Dave Ramsey said recently about the financial situation in America. He said you can’t control the poor decisions the government is making regarding our money and our country’s budget, but you can control how you handle your family’s finances and budget your own money. You have to do your best with what you have and not get worked up about the things you can’t control.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely competitive. Most people don’t know that about me because I’m an introvert and usually quiet. But I am quite competitive. Ask Spencer, he’ll testify. And I love sports. I get into the games. But there is a line between being into a game and being rude, angry, and selfish.
Lastly, the school we were playing was a Christian school. It was quite sad to see people who, whether they know it or not, are representing Jesus in our city and were making such a fool of themselves with their speech and anger. It hurt my heart.
If I wasn’t a believer, I would have had another reason to not trust Jesus. I would have seen the Christian hypocrisy and continued walking away from the Church.
We are all sinners and we will fall at times.
But by the grace of God, He forgives. Sanctification is a process.
May my life not make people turn away from God, but turn to God. To seek His face. To follow after Him.
May the Church be the people of God we are called to be and stand out in our selfish culture for the glory of God. May we be a city on a hill that cannot be hidden. May we seek to be continually changed into people that more accurately reflect the splendor and beauty of our Lord. May we always, in everything be about Christ.