My 9-year-old, Zeke, plays in a basketball league for our city in the winter. My husband coaches his team and every Saturday night for the next few months, our family will be in the gym.
I have tried my hardest to sit there quietly and cheer politely… but I gotta admit, I’m a bit of a loud fan. I find myself cheering and jumping up and down very enthusiastically.
I have tried to remind myself, “It’s only third grade Minta, you can relax.” But…that doesn’t seem to help. How crazy will I be when he’s older?
Anyway… that’s not the point of this story. Zeke is having a pretty great start to the year. He plays super hard and has been getting a ton of points. Every time he gets a basket, his whole face lights up and his dimples pop. It’s pretty cute.
This weekend, however, he started running down the court after a score and doing a little celebration dance. He saw some NFL players doing celebratory dances on TV and wouldn’t you know… he copied it. It looked kind of arrogant, and if I’m honest, it didn’t sit well with me.
It felt like a teachable moment.
On the drive home, after telling him how much I love getting to watch him play, I got the opportunity to talk with Zeke about humility. I shared how as someone who has Jesus in his heart, he gets to act differently than others when good things happen. Instead of taking credit and flaunting success, we get to give the glory to God.
I asked him: “Zeke, who created you to be fast and gave you the ability to play?”
He responded: “God.”
“That’s right!” I said. Then I followed up with: “if that’s true, then who do you think should get the credit for your success?”
He grinned and said, “God.”
I encouraged him to think of an action he could do after a basket that would honor God and his teammates too. He decided on pointing up to heaven and high-fiving his teammates to thank them for their help.
Zeke prayed and thanked God for his good game and asked God to help him shine a light on the court.
I couldn’t help but think of this verse:
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice-the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don't think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.
Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ's body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.”
As followers of Christ, we get an opportunity to display a different kind of confidence: God-confidence and not self-confidence. Our humility and gratitude toward God for the good things happening in our lives can be a huge testimony to those around us who are searching and in need of hope.
Instead of copying the behaviors of those who are without God, we can emulate Jesus! He set an amazing example for us about how to live and love as members of his body. He took a humble stance before his Heavenly Father, offering his body as a sacrifice. We can copy him!
In light of this, I invite you to think of an area of your life in which you can start giving glory to God. Maybe it’s simply by telling others about the amazing work he’s doing or by responding differently than those around you in the victories. He can use your humble act to shine a bright light and illuminate his goodness and power.
Thank you for being such a good God. I acknowledge that all good things in my life come from you and are made to bring you glory. I humbly surrender to you today and ask that you would use me to show the world your glory. You alone deserve it! Give me eyes to see how I can copy you and not copy the pattens of the world.
In Jesus’ mighty name,
We are better together!