I’ve been watching the NBA playoffs lately. Mostly Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers. Lillard knocked down an amazing three point shot at the buzzer at the end of the sixth game, to win the series against the Houston Rockets. It was epic. I’ve heard that Lillard has, heroes. Heroes who inspire him. Tony Parker, Jason Kidd, and Brandon Roy just to name a few. And obviously, studying these successful NBA guards produced results in Damian Lillard. It’s a big part of what makes him great today.
Occasionally I’ll come across an article about the worst draft busts in NBA history, or the worst NBA players ever to set foot on the court. You know I never hear anything about any up and coming young NBA players studying those guys. I don’t hear about Damian Lillard studying bad examples of NBA point guards. He’s focused on the Parkers, Kidds, and Roys of the league. It’s part of what makes him a successful basketball player.
So here’s my question: Why don’t we Christians take that approach?
So often I hear people talk about bad examples of Christian leadership, or a bad direction a church took, or a bad pastor who doesn’t follow Christ’s example in the way he lives.
Where’s the value in dwelling on these things? Imagine if a guy like Lillard dwelt on the worst the NBA had to offer, instead of studying the best. Does that make any sense at all? Sometimes we Christians, myself included, can be guilty of dwelling on the worst the Christian religion has to offer.
If our faith suffers, is it any wonder?
If you genuinely want to become great in the faith, study the best people the Christian faith has to offer–beginning with Jesus Christ.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9
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This is why Adidas signed Damian Lillard to that massive shoe contract. He’s a superstar in the making.