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I really can't remember a time in my life when I wasn't a Los Angeles Lakers fan. Of course when I was growing up everyone was either a Lakers fan or a Celtics fan- I'm pretty sure those were the only two teams in the NBA at the time.
Oh but I'm not a bandwagon kind of guy. I stuck with my team through all the tough years- and believe me, there were plenty. Especially in the 90's when a certain team from Chicago with a slightly talented player with the initials MJ pretty much mopped the floor with anybody who challenged them.
Then came "the change". Los Angeles picked up a modern day Goliath named Shaq and a hyper talented high schooler named Kobe. The results of this dynamic duo? Nothing shy of three NBA championships in three consecutive seasons.
The really cool thing is that Kobe represented what was great in a quickly degrading league. He worked hard at his game, held his temper, and generally showed a team player attitude.
Then came the "change". You pretty much need to be holed up in a cave near Botswana to not have heard about Kobe and his alleged 'mishap'. So in one weekend, the one guy who you could honestly point to as a legitimate role model becomes the center of what is going to be a mud-slinging nauseating legal battle complete with courtroom cameras and the media circus extraordinaire.
The question I have is this: how would God want His people to respond to this? Should we judge? Should we stay glued to the screen? Should we completely ignore it and act like we don't care?
I think the Bible clearly gives us some guidance here- and we would be wise to consider how God would weigh in on this subject.
First of all, we need to be careful not to let the upcoming coverage consume our time and thoughts. The Apostle Paul put it this way:
"Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious--the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse." (Philippians 4:8)
To me, this situation reminds me of a train wreck. As you pass by you know in your heart that you should pray for the victims, look away from the scene, and be thankful that you weren't involved. Yet at the same time you have an instinctual urge to look at the wreckage- just so you can be more 'informed'.
This is the same kind of situation- and Satan would love to get your mind stuck on all the drama and details of Kobe's case. My suggestion would be to pray for the victims, look away from Court TV, and be thankful you weren't involved. Don't waste time trying to stay more 'informed'.
Secondly- I think that God would want us to be reminded that all of us could fall into sin at anytime, anywhere...especially when we are least expecting it. Here's what the Bible says about it:
If you think you are standing strong, be careful, for you, too, may fall into the same sin. (I Corinthians 10:12)
Were you thinking that you couldn't fall into the same sin? That's right where the devil wants you. No, I'm not saying that you are likely to fly to Colorado and have an affair with a concierge- but I am saying that we all are tempted with sexual sin (or other types) everyday. Books, web sites, cable, movies, billboards, magazines, relationships, even our very thoughts are right on the precipice ready to tumble us into troublesome situations.
Finally, I think God would want us to use this event as a conversational lead-in to the gospel. What better way to get a person thinking about spiritual things than the example of moral failure? I believe we have a great opportunity here to use an event that is soon to be under the national spotlight to point people to the true Light.
I'm still a Lakers fan...but hopefully a fan that is much wiser, more humble, and better equipped to share the good news of Jesus Christ with those around me.
Dare 2 Share is a church assisting ministry that provides resources for youth leaders and equips teens to relationally and relentlessly reach their generation for Christ. Over 1,400 of these resources are provided completely FREE! D2S also conducts nationwide youth evangelism training conferences. The events are structured for students in junior high and high school, ranging from 12 to 18 years old. Regardless of gender or denomination, D2S teaches from a Christian perspective. D2S is based in Denver, Colorado and has impacted the lives of more than 300,000 teens since 1991.
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