The NBA All-Star Game took place last Sunday with the Western Conference team knocking off the East 192-182. Many offensive records were broken, including most points scored, and as always, there were dunks galore and loads of highlight plays.
The All-Star Game gives players the platform to display their extraordinary skills to a captivated crowd. For the most part, fans really enjoy the alley-oops and behind the back passes, but there’s also a level of frustration because of the player’s lackadaisical attitude on defense.
When you have a basketball game with a score of 192-182, you know there is minimum effort being made on defense. Unfortunately, the players didn’t take the competitive side of the game very seriously and became too focused on lazy defense, carelessness with the basketball, and letting each other show off.
Even broadcasters of the game, Reggie Miller, Chris Webber and Marv Albert, commented on their concern for the overall lackadaisical attitude of the players.
Ultimately, it’s an exhibition game that doesn’t really count for anything and the regular season resumes this week. However, some of the characteristics represented by the players last night can actually creep into our own lives.
We can be lackadaisical with our faith and not take our walk with Jesus seriously enough. Too often we become lazy on our defense to sin or in our pursuit of God. It’s easy to fall prey to carelessness with our words or be more concerned with our selfishness and “showboating.”
By allowing an apathetic attitude to take over, our intensity and effort level toward the work of God becomes minimal. We easily lose sight of the fact that God is calling us to much more than the selfish “alley-oops” and “behind the back passes”…and that our lives have eternal consequences.
This nonchalant attitude is a reflection that we don’t fear the Lord properly and take His commandments seriously. 2 Corinthians 7:1 (ESV) reminds us, “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.”
Psalm 25:14 (ESV) affirms, “The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear Him, and He makes known to them His covenant.”
And finally, Psalm 112:1 (ESV) encourages us with these words: “Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments!”
Just like these All-Stars are given a wonderful opportunity to be out there on the court, and should care about the integrity of the game, we too, are given amazing opportunities to show a commitment to integrity while bringing God glory in everything we do each day.
Today, let’s be encouraged to take our faith seriously with a healthy fear of the Lord and an understanding of the incredible grace He shows us.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, forgive me for taking Your Word lightly and being lazy in my faith. I pray that I’d have a proper fear of You that would compel me to obey and follow You closely. Thank you for all the blessings and opportunities You give me, and I pray I wouldn’t take them for granted. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Check out more from Bryce Johnson on sports, faith, and life at Unpackin’It