Guard, Seattle Sonics, 1988 College Basketball Player of the Year,
1991 NBA All-Star, 1998 Pacific Conference Sportsmanship Award
As an NBA rookie, there were times when I felt that everyone was
pulling me in different directions. The coach wanted more practice time, my wife wanted me
to talk to her more, my family needed more money, and my friends wanted me to
hang-out with them more. At the same time, investors were calling, reporters
wanted more interviews, and to top it all off, I was in the midst of my first slump as a
It was during this time that someone approached me about the claims of
Christ. However, I felt that I didnt have time for Christ. Two things were in the
way of considering Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. First, my life was already
overflowing with things to do, and Christianity seemed like just another thing to add to
my busy life! Second, when I heard the gospel of Christ, I did not see how it related or
could help me.
The answer to the first obstacle was found in a Bible verse that today
is one of my favorites. Mark 8:36 asks the question, What good is it for a man to
gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Christ is not just another option among
many. He is the only way to God. In John 14:6, Christ says, I am the way and the
truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
The answer to the second obstacle was not found quite as easily. God
had to show me the value of the gospel over a period of three to four years, because I had
always thought I was basically a good person with a good heart, and I had never cheated on
However, being good will not get us into heaven. I can best illustrate
it this way: God blessed me with good shooting skills. I have consistently placed in the
Top 10 in free throw percentage, usually shooting between 86 and 88 percent. Thats
better than all but a few NBA players. So, if I compared myself with others, I rated very
well. But Im still not perfect.
In life, God says we have to be perfect (Matthew 5:48), and we have to
keep all His laws (James 2:10). He is the standard, not others.
So, in Gods eyes, 88 or even 98 percent isnt good enough.
We all break Gods laws and fall short of Gods glory (Romans 3:23). The result
of this is serious; the Bible says in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death,
but the gift of God is eternal life. This is why we all need a savior. I had to
admit that I am a sinner, and I had to ask God to forgive me and Christ to save
meand He did!
You too can have your sins forgiven. Pray, Dear God, thank You
for Your Son, Jesus, and the sacrifice He made by dying for our sins. Jesus, please come
into my heart and forgive me of my sins. Change me and help me follow Your Word.
Taken from Sports Spectrum, a Christian sports magazine. Used by permission. For
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