On a fairly regular basis these days, my college age son asks me if I heard the latest NBA trade rumor. I usually tell him that I’m technologically challenged and that he can’t expect me to keep up with every rumor on an hourly basis. He can – which continues to amaze me! But as I watch all the sports channels, I see rumors float by on the ticker and as I research on the internet, I see endless lists of gossip and speculation. It never ends! In fact, the list of websites, bloggers, and experts built around the art of speculation continues to expand. Is it really worth our time and energy? Why do we get so caught up in speculation when we have no clue of all the considerations for trades in the pros or personnel issues in the college game? I’m sure there’s some deep societal explanations, but for me it brings up a chance to bring back the most popular post we’ve had on 3 Point Wisdom and to remind us that God’s directions remain simple, clear, and relevant.
BASKETBALL – Do you know the real story?
As I related in my March 12, 2013 post Tom Crean vs. Jeff Meyer: Who Knows the Truth?, the basketball world is quick to jump to conclusions. If you’re not part of the everyday workings of any team or organization, all you can do is make assumptions about personnel moves, player issues, and in this case, coaching rivalries. Even within a team, misinformation and incomplete information often lead to bigger issues that can tear a team apart. Wise coaches understand that clear, concise, and truthful information within a team is a necessity for keeping a team on a unified path, while players must do their part in addressing concerns through proper team channels. Gossip and rumors within a team are often the most dangerous obstacles a program must overcome. Verifying information, discerning the actions and words of others, and testing your responses are essential for being a valued member of any team!
LIFE – Stop Comparing!
Isn’t the root of all the gossip and rumor speculation that most of us spend far too much time comparing ourselves to others? Basketball and other sports are not only competition, but for many of us they become our identity. Coaches, players, and fans too often draw on not just the wins and losses, but on the reputation, tradition, and perception of our teams – and we do it in the rest of our lives as well. We compare our kids to other kids. We swap stories about our weekend activities and we post accomplishments all over Facebook – and then, we compare. Do we measure up? And if for some reason we don’t, we jump into the painful world of rumors and gossip in an attempt to make ourselves feel better. Rumors and gossip are often built on incomplete information and many times on false information. Stop comparing, stop finding your worth and identity in the wrong things, and stop finding fault in others. Once again, this is a little self-therapy!
FAITH – Jesus keeps it simple for us: Follow & Listen
One of the things I love about the words of Jesus is that He always keeps it simple and His words are always relevant. A lot has happened for me this summer and I often think that life just gets far too complicated, but as I commit to more and more quiet time in God’s word, some very clear messages come through. Do we really need to spend so much time speculating about others, spreading half-truths, and trying to get the inside scoop? This weekend, as I thought about gossip and rumors, two conversations from Jesus offered clear, simple, and practical advice. Jesus tells us where to put our energy and focus.
In the first, Luke 9:57-62, as Jesus traveled to Jerusalem he attracted flocks of admiring fans. Three different “fans” wanted to jump on his bandwagon and learn the secrets of his success. His response: “Follow me!” Don’t compare. Don’t look back. Don’t wait. Don’t complain. Just follow. Do that and it sort of removes the need to gossip and speculate. And the second conversation is the well-known visit that Jesus had with Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42. Martha jumped into the comparison game and complained to Jesus when Mary wasn’t exactly helpful in the kitchen. Once again, He cut to the core – “just one thing is needful.” To Listen. No one else can do it for you. It’s between you and God. No comparing. No gossiping. No speculating. Just listen. I pray that each of us will choose to follow and listen, rather than gossip and compare!