Saturday, July 16, 2016

Be Like Mike (Doug White)

Tonight's entry is again by Doug White, a college friend from Harding University and now a pharmacist in Louisiana. Doug is a Biblical scholar and edits a great bulletin for his congregation. Prayers for me in Vietnam.

Michael Jordan. One of the greatest basketball players of all time, if not the greatest.
          Coming out of the University of North Carolina where he was a member of their 1982 national championship team, he joined the NBA's Chicago Bulls in 1984 as the third overall draft pick.
          His leaping ability, notably demonstrated by performing dunks from the free throw line in slam dunk contests, earned him the nicknames "Air Jordan" and "His Airness". He also gained a reputation for being one of the best defensive players in basketball.
          Jordan's Bulls won 6 NBA championships and he was named the league MVP five times! A great player and a superstar for sure.
          Back in the early 1990's, Gatorade aired a commercial featuring Jordan where the phrase "Be Like Mike," was introduced.
          The implication was that if you used the Gatorade products, like Michael Jordan did, then you may have a chance to become a good as him.
          Millions of dollars of commercial products, especially Nike shoes endorsed by Jordan, have been sold over the years, as young men want to "Be Like Mike."
          Our society today is overwhelmed by people who want to "be like" somebody. Some athlete, some movie star, some billionaire, etc. Some somebody, anybody but me!
          If someone has a positive trait, then we should try and put that trait in our lives. Shoot baskets like Michael Jordan? Absolutely, go for it.
          But, don't try and emulate many other things in his life.
          In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul said to 'imitate him,' but he said it with a caveat. 1  Be imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ.
        You imitate Paul like he imitates Christ. If Michael Jordan has a Christlike trait, we should imitate it.
          Where we get into trouble is, through our own insecurities, we try to imitate others completely, which leads to all sorts of problems.
          God created each and every one of us unique individuals. And He has an individual, personal plan for each one of us.
          In Jeremiah 1:5 He told Jeremiah Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I consecrated you, and I ordained you a prophet to the nations.
          Before you were ever conceived! I chose you, and you only, to be a prophet.
          Q. What were the chances that Jeremiah would grow up to be a plumber?
          A. Zero. God had already decided.
          David tells us in Psalm 139:14  I will praise You; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
          And then in 16 he follows up with: Your eyes saw my embryo; and in Your book all my members were written, the days they were formed, and not one was among them.
          We are unique, each and every one made by God, and we should not try to 'be like' anyone else. We are to 'be like US.'
          I give credit to Max Lucado for this next little ditty which illustrates my point as well as anything. It goes like this:
          A little boy named Adam wanted to be like his friend Bobby.  Adam loved the way Bobby walked and talked. Bobby, however, wanted to be like Charlie. Something about Charlie’s stride and accent intrigued him. Charlie, on the other hand, was impressed with Danny. Charlie wanted to look and sound like Danny. Danny, of all things, had a hero as well: Adam. He wanted to be just like Adam. So Adam was imitating Bobby, who was imitating Charlie, who was imitating Danny, who was imitating Adam! Turns out, all Adam had to do was be himself.
          Stay in your own lane. Nothing good happens when you compare and compete. God doesn’t judge you according to the talents of others. He judges you according to yours!

          His yardstick for measuring faithfulness is how faithful you are with your own gifts.

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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