Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Credit Score--Does It Matter

Yesterday, I mentioned that I find the statement, "First of all, I want to thank God, for without Him, none of this would have been possible," is not a statement that thrills me to hear.

But is this just a case of being nit-picky? I mean after all, can't we cut some slack? These men (or women) have just endured a competition that taxed their physical, emotional and mental limits only to have a camera stuck in their face and to be asked, "What do you think?" Half the time, these athletes are still huffing and puffing from the competition. Can we really evaluate what they say?

While we should offer grace in these situations (and notice, I'm not calling anyone specific out), I do think there are lessons for us to learn, even for those of us who will probably never have anyone with a microphone ask us what we believe...especially in a heated situation.

1. These athletes have played this moment in their head in advance. Seriously, even "players" like myself--who mastered keeping the bench pinned to the floor--visualized playing a central role in a high profile game. It may be the first time a microphone is in their face, but it's not the first time they have played the scenario in their head. This is a perfect example of, "but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;" (1 Peter 3:15). You may never cross the checkered, sink a putt, drive in a run or drain a shot when everyone is looking, but if your sanctification is visible to the world, questions will be asked, and you should have answers prepared in advance.

2. Similarly, we live in a sound byte culture. When the reporter asks a question, the athlete will not have time to breakdown his take on the covenants, why he's complementarian or his former religious views. He has probably been asked a different question already and will only have a moment to make another statement, before he must deal with the questions he's been asked. If he keeps ignoring the question before him, he will appear rude, smug and selfish. Though it may be halftime or postgame, the clock is still ticking. Our days are often filled with similar opportunities. No, evangelism is not the sum of pithy cliches and witty one-liners. However, I often pray that doors would be opened for the opportunity to share and underestimate how often I may have a chance to influence the conversation or nudge it in a direction. Examining a quick statement at the beginning of an interview can help us remember we need to articulate the things that matter.

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