On Sunday night, The Dallas Mavericks won the NBA title for the first time in their franchise history. As a diehard Mavs fan since I was a kid, this was a satisfying moment. I’ve been excited to have an excuse to blog about them ever since. I don’t claim to be a basketball expert, but I love watching a good game. This may not be the greatest application of scripture, but it should be fun.
After watching this team continue to get better throughout the finals, there were several things that stood out about them and the way they played the game– things I think the church can learn from. Here are four observations:
The Mavs were kings in the fourth quarter. With six fourth quarter come-backs in the playoffs, they never quit. For a team that had developed a reputation as choke artists, they played as though losing wasn’t an option. Not to mention that they were the oldest team on the court, led by a 38 year old point guard. They wouldn’t quit.
As believers, we are running a race, and we must press on till the end. We ought to give our best effort every day.
This group of guys played as a team. They have at least one definitive star at the helm, but for much of the time on the court, Dirk Nowitski wasn’t the difference maker. Everyone made a contribution. In fact, Dirk barely showed up in the final game until the fourth quarter. If it wasn’t for the rest of the guys on the team, they never would have held up that trophy.
Unity is something that is so needed in the body of Christ. Whether we’re talking about people getting along with each other in the local church body, or churches getting along with each other in a community, we are all working towards the same goal of making Christ known and making disciples. Let’s try making a difference together.
One thing that was increasingly clear about this Maverick’s team was their mission on defense. They worked harder than ever to stop the other team, rather than just trying to score as many points as possible.
We are in a spiritual battle, and we have to play defense. There is an enemy, and he has no desire to see us succeed. If we are not constantly in the Word, in prayer, and interceding for one another, we are playing with fire.
Play Like You’ve Already Won
Jason Terry did something some would consider arrogant, some would consider ridiculous, and some insane. I thought it was brilliant. He tattooed a picture of the Larry O’Brien trophy on his bicep before the start of this season. It was his reminder of what he was playing for.
We are already guaranteed victory in Christ. Maybe we should play like it. Maybe we should live like it. Maybe the fact that we will win should have tremendous implications on how we live our lives–implications on our mission in life.
I hope I can live my life for Christ with the same focus and discipline that these guys exhibited on the court. We have so much more at stake than a basketball score or a trophy. Are you ready to get in the game?
Question: How are you inspired when you see discipline in others? What are you challenged to do about it?