I love Godly illustrations out of the world of sports. A great one recently happened during a men’s basketball game between the University of Iowa and Northwestern University. With just a couple of minutes remaining in the hard fought game, the Iowa team was trying to protect a slim lead.
A kid by the name of Jordan Bohannon was fouled by a Northwestern player and stood at the free throw line. The shot he was poised to make would have given him a major distinction in the world of college basketball. Had he made the shot, it would have been his 35th consecutive free throw. He would have owned a significant college record.
But, he purposefully clunked the front rim of the basket and the ball did not go in. No points. His streak was over and the record would remain in the hands of a previous ball player named Chris Street.
It seems that Chris died in a car accident in 1993. And over the years, Jordan had gotten to know the family. He wanted to make sure that the record remained in Chris’ name. He wanted to honor the Street family and his purposefully misdirected foul shot did just that.
As I read about this young athlete, I could not help but think of the scripture in James 4, where we are told to “humble ourselves before the Lord and He will lift us up.”
Young Jordan protected the reputation of another ball player, but he accomplished much more that just honoring a single family. He displayed some personal character for the world at large to see. He chose to humble himself rather than enjoy the lime light for a moment.
There is such a lesson to be learned here. So, let’s all spend some time this week contemplating how we too can display humility. Let’s humble ourselves by quickly owning our faults; confessing our sin to the Lord and others; happily submitting ourselves to authority and receiving corrections with an open mind (and closed mouth).
Let’s be quick to forgive, generous with our encouragement and patient with all.
Bottom line, we don’t have to clunk a foul shot in order for our character to be on display. Genuine humility… let’s just do it!