By now you’ve probably heard that NBA’s Lebron James announced that after seven years, he would be leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers and be joining the Miami Heat. Everyone in the world of sports believes that this may be one of the biggest decisions of the decade. Regardless of whether you’re a sports fan or not, there are three Christian lessons we can learn in the middle of all this basketball drama.
1. Life is filled with tough decisions.
Before and after Lebron announced that he would switch teams and join the Miami Heat, Lebron explained how difficult it was to decide which team to play for. He shared that through it all, he consulted his mentors, trusted friends, and his family. His decision came easier because he gained wisdom and support from the people who cared about him most.
Going deeper about decisions.
Your life will be very difficult if you make impulsive decisions. Yeah it’s cool to be spontaneous and adventurous, but being impulsive is just stupid. That’s why it is good to seek advice from good people in your life. But don’t stop there! Never forget that nobody loves us more than Jesus. Go to Him first when it’s time to make a decision–big or small. Give God a chance to shape your present and your future by spending more time in prayer.
2. We all want to be winners.
The desire to win is at the root of all of the emotion and controversy surrounding Lebron’s decision to go to Miami. The sports fans of Cleveland are sad and angry because it will be almost impossible to win an NBA title without Lebron. It’s for this same reason that fans are disappointed in Chicago, New York, and New Jersey. The fans of Miami, however, are thrilled because they now have three of the best players in basketball. All of these emotions spill out of our desire to be champions.
Going deeper about winning.
Think about it: nobody wakes up every morning and thinks, “I can’t wait to be a loser today!” It’s part of our human design to want to be known as a winner, as someone who triumphs over adversity. It’s okay to want to be a winner–in sports, at school, in life–as long as we do not lose sight of our ultimate goal: getting to heaven. Don’t let your ego and ambition distract you from your relationship with Jesus. There’s a great quote: “Who you are before Jesus is who you are, nothing more and nothing less.” What this means is that your relationship with Jesus defines who you are, not your worldly victories. What does a man gain if he gains the world but loses his soul?
3. Justice matters to us.
In all of the controversy regarding Lebron’s decision to switch teams, one consistent theme is that this was more than just about winning a championship, but on a deeper level, it was about justice. Justice is another way of saying that there is a moral right and wrong in a decision. You don’t have to look far to see this:
- For weeks before the announcement was made, sports fans claimed that it was immoral for Lebron just to go to the team that paid him the most money.
- Some people claimed that it was morally right for Lebron to stay with the Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio. He owed it to his family, friends, and fans.
- Once his decision was made, people debated whether it was morally fair that three of the top players in the NBA ended up on the same team. Sports fans outside of Miami shouted: “This is unfair!”
Going deeper about justice.
In the end, it’s hard to argue that any decision from Lebron would be just or unjust. I doubt Jesus would have much to say about the issue, but He would have a lot to say about our desire for justice. God created us to desire to make the world fair for everyone–no matter how rich or poor. A huge part of what we do with Life Teen and Edge is to promote causes of social justice to insure that all of God’s children are treated with dignity and respect.
Finally, all of this debate about justice should remind you that God created us to desire truth because He is Truth. I know this might sound a little confusing, so let me say it in a different way: there will always be a lot of questions in your life and in the world, and the answers to those questions can only be found in Jesus. Spend more time in the Bible and in the Catechism to get clarity in this foggy world. And whenever you hear debates about what is right and wrong, be reminded that the desire for righteousness is really our desire for God. We wouldn’t have debates at all if we didn’t desire the Truth.
Summary: God Always Wins
I know that it’s cliche, but in the end God always wins. So whether you are sports fan in Cleveland or Miami, don’t get too caught up in the drama surrounding Lebron James. Keep God #1 in your life and you’ll always triumph.