The 2018 NBA Western Conference Finals. Steph Curry, leader of the Golden State Warriors, had missed a good chunk of the regular season with injuries. Game 2 saw the Houston Rockets blow them out by 22 points, and the game stayed tight at half time of game 3. Then Steph stepped up, with 19 points in the third quarter, leading them to a 41 point margin of victory. After one layup, Curry turned to the crowd and yelled, “This is my…house.”
You may have heard what was originally shouted, as did his mother. A devout Christian lady. By the end of the game, she had sent him two home videos of the clip, “She was telling me how I need to wash my mouth out, saying to wash it out with soap. It's a message I've heard before."
But Curry, a follower of Jesus, continued, “She's right. I gotta do better. I can't talk like that.”
A fairly minor event, one not likely to mar neither his career nor his reputation. Why? Steph owned it. And in doing so, he gives a model. For politicians of every stripe (yeah, the allusion was intentional. PM me if you don’t get the animal known for its stripes). For everyday citizens. For employees and employers. For those in relationships. And most of all, for followers of Jesus.
We may avoid the adjective Curry blasted out, but we all make mistakes, the kind God calls “sin.” Very simply, sin is any thought or action that misses what God desires from us. Pretty all-encompassing, “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth” (1 John 1:8, NLT).
So when we do these, how do we respond? A simple three step process, but one admittedly easier to write or read than to do.
1. Admit we did it. We know it. Others know it. So why do we try to hide it? Kinda stupid if you ask me. And if we don’t acknowledge it, we get stuck and never get beyond it. And, it reveals something about our character—we struggle with truth.
2. Admit it was wrong. Too often we rationalize that it wasn’t so bad, that others do the same or worse. In doing that, we reveal we struggle with taking responsibility for the wrongfulness of our actions. Not good.
3. Strive to do better. We avoid using grace as an excuse to keep doing what we know is wrong, which reveals we place our desires above God. Very bad.
Sure, these three won’t eliminate the hurts we cause, nor the scars we bear. But they provide a foundation to move on from wrong. Very good.
Kick Starting the Application
Think of a time when you got caught in a sin and wouldn’t admit it. What effect did that have on you and others? What would have helped you admit it? Now, think of a time when you did own it, fully. How did that work out? What helped you own it? Do you have a recent act that you need to apply these three steps to? Will you?