Over and over and over again the Proverbs tell it like it is...
- A wise son heeds his father's instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke. proverbs 13:1
- A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools detest turning from evil. proverbs 13:19
- All a man's ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord. proverbs 16:2
- The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception. proverbs 14:8
- When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. proverbs 11:2
Pride has no place with wisdom. Humility and repentance are the only tells of righteousness. Folly - the deception of pride - is evident everywhere. These days, it's too often blatantly obvious on the field of athletic competition. Here's a conversation I had with a friend this morning about the latest NFL player to make me shake my head in sheer disbelief...
Shawn McEvoy: can you believe Dre' Bly? especially after his team just got taken apart? check out this blurb:
49ers CB Dre' Bly didn't apologize for his showboating play that ended in a fumble Sunday.
Bly picked off a pass and then put his hand behind his head like Deion Sanders. The only problem was he got caught from behind by Roddy White and fumbled. "Like I say, I'm going to be me," Bly said. "That's who I've been my whole life, that's who I was in college. I have fun. Dre's going to be Dre'."
Shawn McEvoy: just reminded me that this is so like the state of the world these days. "hey, i know that looked bad, i know my sins cost me, i know there are consequences, but i am neither repenting nor changing. i'm the only moral compass there is. even if i'm clearly and obviously unreliable."
Shawn McEvoy: but you could have cost your team. so?
Shawn McEvoy: but you look like a fool. so?
Shawn McEvoy: but it'd be so easy to do it right! so?!
Mike: I am sure [coach Mike] Singletary will change his mind for him (note: Singletary is known for his sincere Christian beliefs and no-nonsense discipline, so Mike's probably right here)
Shawn McEvoy: or cut him. they can get blown out without him
Mike: but NEVER admit you did anything wrong
Mike: that is the lesson, kids!
Shawn McEvoy: NEVER
Shawn McEvoy: and even when it is OBVIOUS from the result you did wrong, don't you dare change
Shawn McEvoy: i mean, dude doesn't even have to admit it. the whole world can see he flubbed up. but to essentially say you would do it again? is that not the height of insanity?
Shawn McEvoy: the foolishness of pride borne out yet again. Bible right again.
At this point, I begin reflecting on how perfectly Bly's example this weekend matches up with the above quotes from Proverbs. And then I begin thinking about how perfectly they match up with things I just haven't changed about me. Temper. Self-reliance (vs. God-reliance). Language. Daily surrender. And of course, weight and eating habits. And I suddenly picture my own post-game interview:
Reporter: Great play picking up that family-fun-night pack. Movies were a hit, fellowship was great... and you had almost crossed the goal line when you just had to polish off that carton of ice cream before bed. Any regrets?
Me: Are you kidding? I just gotta be me. I've been enjoying ice cream since, like, forever. I might be made of the stuff. It's just who I am, Bro.
At which point the applications are obvious, but leave it to Mike to suddenly revive our IM conversation with this...
Mike: nice, just watched a video from the State Fair of Texas where they were talking to people about what they thought of the fried butter.
Shawn McEvoy: DUDE... i thought the fried butter i was hearing about at the State Fair was a SARCASTIC JOKE
Shawn McEvoy: it's SERIOUS?
Shawn McEvoy: i thought it was hyperbole. you know, like those Texans and those carnies, they'll fry up anything.
Mike: nope. as serious as the morbidly obese lady driving up to the stand to get some in her scooter because she can't walk...
Reporter: Everyone's got to have a goal. You're a long way off, but if you keep reaching for it like you have been, you can get there, too. What's your plan?
Me: I don't think I want to keep being who I've been my whole life anymore.
Reporter: But... that's where the fun is!
Me: For how long?
Dre', I sincerely hope you set a better example, and I pray that you repent and grow from this, and see how silly you look. But if you'll excuse me, I gotta go get the cream, er, oops, I mean, BEAM outta my own eye first...
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About Shawn McEvoy
Shawn McEvoy is the Managing Editor of Crosswalk.com. He is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Virginia Commonwealth University. Shawn is married with two children. In addition to writing for the leading online evangelical publication, he has also written for fantasy sports and pop culture websites.
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