Draymond was Right
Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Ephesians 3:7
After Golden State basketball superstar Kevin Durant was injured in the NBA Finals, fans in Toronto were cheering. Actually cheering. Their team had a better chance to win now that Kevin was out. I hope his injury is recoverable.
Speaking about the sensitivity of fans, Draymond Green, a Durant teammate and fellow NBA All-Star said some truthful statements about the perception he feels fans place on him and others in pro sports.
In effect he said: “Fans expect their pro players to never fail or get injured or sick, but they are people too. They don’t care what happens outside the lines. They expect us to be unreal.”
His words are accurate. Fans do tend to think of their stars as “more than regular people.” The expectations and assumptions placed on starts by fans are not healthy. Not healthy for the stars – or the fans. Like a referee, his call of “Foul!” is warranted.
In the spiritual realm in which we live, how many people perceive and project expectations and assumptions onto people in ministry? How about what we perceive and project onto other church members?
What Draymond said was right, and his insights also apply to how many people see their pastor in their church.
Here are 3 areas to avoid getting a “Foul” called against you.
- Unrealistic expectations. Projecting impossibilities is a foul against the pastor and against the one with the impossible expectations. The pastor cannot be everywhere at the same time. He is unable to visit everyone who misses a service. It is difficult for him to preach and take attendance at the same time. Toss into the basket the fact that some parishioners are only in attendance in one service a week, the pastor is less likely to notice they are missing. For example, if someone that normally attends Sunday morning, Sunday Evening and the Midweek service is missing – the pastor is more likely to see they are not there – because of the frequency of their attendance. Sometimes the pastor wants to- but can’t. There are times when I am too sick to make a hospital visit. We want others to go when that happens, but to have one man visit every person of 200, 100, or 50 people is not very realistic. Expecting something that is not possible hurts the person doing the “expecting!” The pastor has a life, family, health needs, and emotional encouragement needs too.
- Unreasonable assumptions. This is when we assume the worst about people or situations. Human nature is to assume things are worse off than they really are. This is the “making a mountain out of a mole-hill syndrome.” Many good people get caught up in false assumptions. “He does not like me.” “She does not care.” “They like them better than us.” These are dangerous thought patterns rooted in pride and ego. This type of thinking is what Paul is warning Titus about in Titus 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. Choose to have healthy and hopeful thoughts about others. Avoid assuming the worst. It hurts your impression of others when you project unreasonable assumptions on others. Not everything will go the way you hope it will but compounding every relationship struggle is -assumption.
- Unhealthy attitudes. The attitude truly determines your altitude. If you have a healthy, winning attitude, you are more likely to succeed in whatever you are striving for. In relationships, if you have a healthy attitude toward your pastor, it will help you be an encouragement. It will cause you to be less critical. It will create in you’re a desire to help and to serve. When people serve with their pastor, they are helping advance the Gospel and the kingdom of God through the local church.
Basketball fans, and church members – don’t get a “Foul!” called on you. Choose to have realistic thoughts about other church members and about your pastor.
He is a real person who cares much, feels deeply, and hopes unceasingly.
Yes, Draymond was right. Stars are just people too. Remember this truth the next time you watch a game.