Wednesday, May 16, 2012

LeBron James Sucks?

In the wake of Miami's loss to the Pacers last night (Yeah!!!) I'm amazed at how quickly the criticism for LeBron James has surfaced.  See for example this article on  Is it really just 4 days since everyone was  praising James for winning his third MVP award?

I think we all have a tendency to react to the latest headline or event in our lives. In my experience too, it seems that the baggage from criticism hangs around a lot longer than the glow of praise.  It's not enough to be the best player in the world. To win a third MVP in four years. To lead your team to the playoffs. The only people free from criticism are the champions. Even then there the quick questions, "Can they do it again next year?" "Are they getting older?" "Will they establish a dynasty, or did they just hit a hot streak?"

"What have you done for me lately in the last 5 minutes?" can easily become a mantra for our society that looks for quick results and quick fixes.

Unfortunately, I often encounter similar attitudes in the church. Christians are quick to criticise their own churches over something that (in their opinion) is missing, but stingy in their praise of the good the church does. We all want to see churches better represent God, but criticising our church isn't the best way of helping.  I really want to use this blog to present positive messages of all God's doing in the world. I think it's an attractive message and one we don't hear enough.

So LeBron James, you're not my favorite player.  I hope you lose to my favourite team.  But, I'll confess, "You're a GREAT player."

Likewise, to my church: As a minister it's my calling to urge you closer to God.  Sometimes, this makes me overly critical. But, I want to acknowledge, "You're support of me is extremely gracious, and I am constantly encouraged as I see you love others who come seeking God's presence in their lives."

Here are a couple of verses encouraging positive attitudes and feedback:

How did Paul interact with the churches he lead? For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12)

Here's what I'm looking for: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Ephesians 4:29).

(Yes, I realise the irony of criticising people for being critical.)  :-)

This guy has a similar idea... minus the LeBron references!

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