People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God.
1 Peter 2:18-20
You who are slaves must accept the authority of your masters with all respect. Do what they tell you—not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. For God is pleased with you when you do what you know is right and patiently endure unfair treatment. Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.
It was the first day of CRS Basketball League and all of us, including myself, were excited to play our very first game of the league. Warm-up and team prayers whizzed off in the blink of an eye and soon I found myself on the court ready for tip off. Though all pumped up and ready to go, our opponent got the first possession and scored a quick basket. It was our time to attack. We swung the ball as we practiced during training, and after receiving a cross court pass, I found myself open for a shot. “It’s your time to impress’, I told myself. The defender was closing in on me and I did a shot fake before driving towards his right for a slash to the basket. “All is well.” I thought, and as I passed my defender, I heard the whistle go off. Travel call.
I felt bewildered for I was seldom called for travelling on that move during pick-up games. “Did the referee make the wrong call?” was the first thought in my mind. Subsequently in another play, I was called for travelling again with the exact same move. “It cannot be, he must be biased or just an inexperienced referee making the wrong calls”. I approached the referee after the end of quarter, discussed with him his calls and I was humbled when I realised I often violate the rules by lifting my pivot foot before I bounce the ball.
Throughout the rest of the games, I observed the referees, the calls they make, and also inevitably the reactions from the players being called for the violations. Looks and grunts of disbelief, anger and displeasure were among the mix of reactions.
I believe all umpires seek to do their best and be impartial. Of course, we may disagree with a referees call and yes the last time I looked, umpires are humans just like us who makes mistakes even at the NBA Finals. Often in the heat of the game, we do not know what comes out of our mouth, what our facial expressions or reactions bring forth to spectators/referees/teammates. However, as followers of Christ we are told to tame our tongue and be conscious of our reactions, and treat the umpires with respect as we must any person with authority.
I am not encouraging us to be a saint on court, but as a follower to Christ, lets constantly remind ourselves to take control of our thoughts, words and actions even in the heat of the game, and not belittle players, coaches or any umpires. Christ will never do so, so neither should we.
Sharing by: Ng Wei Xuan from All Saints' Church
Posted on Wed, July 17, 2013
by Ng Wei Xuan