Just a few balls were bouncing, and the gym was still cold when Dennis sat down at the scorer’s table and struck up a conversation with coach Bill who was setting up the scoreboard.
“Hope our shooters aren’t as cold as this gym. I might have to step outside to warm up!”
Bill laughed and added: “I’ll work with cold--I just hope our shooters show up.”
Dennis was on the Metro Mavs club basketball board and so he thought he better not just let that go. “What do you mean? The girls are flaky?”
“I don’t get it. I’ll say that much.” Coach Bill wasn’t much of a talker unless it had to do with the Bellarmine offense.
Dennis pushed: “Sounds like there’s something going on besides basketball. Tell me about it.”
Bill finished connecting the controller to the scoreboard and gave his full attention to Dennis. “It’s like this. The girls sign up for the program. Their parents drop a pretty penny to finance the activity. Then we work hard to take individuals and create a real team. Team! If each member is not true to the team, then you don’t really have one!”
Having broken the press, the coach was now driving hard to the basket. “Then you get this from last night. The boys take a tied game into overtime and I tell the girls they wouldn’t get much opportunity—they’d better go start warming up on the other court. And Kelly says to me, ‘No. I want to watch the end.’ She said, ‘No!’ It’s a good thing I had to give my attention to the guys! One or both of us lucked out there!”
Dennis winced and tried to sound sympathetic: “Welll, it was a great game. And I think she’s got her eye on Bobby.”
Coach wasn’t buying it. “I’m not done. This morning she’s not sure whether she wants to play today or not! How do you build a team with that lack of commitment? It’s starting to affect the rest of the girls. They know they can’t count on Kelly. When I was a player, I busted my butt to get onto the team. And there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for the squad once I was in. There’s just no loyalty anymore!”
Dennis was genuinely sympathetic now. “Okay. I’m hearing you. I agree—that’s tough.” He went on: “Look, I know the family. They’re great believers in faithfulness and don’t take letting people down lightly. I’ll talk to them. Either they are not aware of Kelly’s attitude, or they’re just thinking about basketball and not character. They’ll see the value in encouraging Kelly to step up to her commitment.”
The story of us all:
Faithfulness willingly resists the temptation of an enticing opportunity or the pain of a harsh penalty to stay true to a commitment. Followers of Jesus imitate God’s loyal love. They stand firm for the truth, for their word, and for relational commitments.
One important Scripture:
Proverbs 3:3-4 (ESV) 3 Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 So you will find favor and good success
in the sight of God and man.
Your own story: You’ve heard Bill’s story, you know the story of us all. Now, let’s talk!
Do you have a loyal friend—one who has been in your corner for a long, long time?
Ask someone: Have you ever been betrayed?
The older I get, the more faithful I want to be to the Lord. I want to finish well. In recent years, there has been way too many pastors and Christian leaders who crashed and burned because of secret sin that was exposed or of a scandal of some kind. Jesus has been so faithful to me over the years even when I have messed up. By His grace, may I be faithful to Him!
God has given me a few very close friends both inside and out of our church that hold me accountable in different ways and I love them. I have had friends leave. It hurts. And I know I have not always been a good, faithful friend either. I’m growing.
To me the church is that team. A family. Family doesn’t always see eye to eye but they are committed to each other even when things are hard. As we work together God grows us. Iron sharpening iron and all that.