I just recently watched ESPN’s 30 for 30 series titled “Broke”. Essentially it is a documentary on athletes who have made hundreds of millions of dollars but are flat out broke. I am by no means a financial expert, but feel that I could give wise counsel to almost all of the situations discussed. This counsel wouldn’t come from me, but would come from God’s word. Had these athletes followed a biblical worldview of handling their finances, I believe their lives would look completely different.
Let me preface this by saying that I am not trying to come off as judgmental (I know I’ve made my fair share of mistakes and my mistakes don’t show up on Sports Center or USA Today!)- my intention is to show that God’s word is applicable not only to the average “Joe” but to everyone- regardless of income, status, job title or lack of job title. Here are a few thoughts that stuck out to me from watching the show:
- As an athlete, one of the most humiliating things you can say to an opponent is that you “own” them. It means that they are inferior and that they call the shots. An overriding theme of this documentary was athletes being owned by debt.
“Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.” Proverbs 22:7
- Seeking counsel seemed to be another theme in these athletes financial demise. They either didn’t seek counsel or they sought counsel from people who were self serving.
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice” -Proverbs 12:15
“The thoughts of the righteous are just; the counsel of the wicked are deceitful.” – Proverbs 12:5
I am a huge fan of sports- particularly football, but lately I have been flabbergasted by all that is going on in the sports world. I am not intending to pass judgment, call people out or point fingers at specific individuals but there seems to be a common theme to the demise of individuals and teams- the issues of integrity and honesty.
We have seen over the past several months in the sports world the consequences of being dishonest and lack of integrity. “Legends” of the fields have fallen, people have been physically and emotionally wounded, lies have been used to cover scandal, trust has been broken. But it is just not in the sports world.
The reality is this: we all have struggled and will struggle with honesty and integrity. It may not be as transparent as the issues we have seen lately, but scripture is clear about how dishonesty can spread, “Whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” – Luke 16:10.
So here is the TWO things that I would tell the fallen “legends” of sports, the people who are trying to justify “minor” lies, and what I would tell myself, family and friends to do if struggling with being dishonest:
- RESTORE YOUR FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD: When we are dishonest, we aren’t able to experience our relationship with the Lord the way God intended. We must admit our sin and receive God’s mercy and forgiveness. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.” John 1:9.
- DO YOUR BEST TO RESTORE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE HARMED PERSON: “Confess your sins to one another” James 5:16. I’m not going to lie (haha), this one is pretty hard to do! But the fact of the matter is that the Lord wants us in a right relationship with Himself and others. The way we can do this is by swallowing our pride and sharing with those we have harmed how we have wronged them.
There is a lot more that could be added, God’s word is full of counsel on honesty and integrity, but if you were wanting to be in a right relationship with the Lord and others this is a really good starting point.
Kyle Hasbrouck is the Vice President of Compass – finances God’s way. For more information about Kyle, please click HERE.