Mortar 4, Honesty - Bottom of the Ninth #132

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Bottom of the 9th - Honesty

Honesty - Mortar 4, John Wooden's Pyramid of Success by Keith Wahl

"To hold a structure of bricks (or blocks) together, the mason applies mortar around each layer. In the Pyramid of Success, character qualities bond the 15 building blocks, thus symbolizing mortar. These character qualities actually run throughout the Pyramid and help us advance toward the apex."

Even John Wooden fell to temptation. I think we often prop up Wooden and other coaches as idols of perfection and forget they are also human. Wooden shares this experience:

"I have been tempted to be dishonest many times. I have mostly resisted these temptations, but one particular time I failed. An opposing coach repeatedly sent the wrong shooter to the free-throw line. He would slip in a player with a better shooting percentage than the one who was fouled. Since he got away with this illegal maneuver, I tried it, too. But I was not so good at being stealthy - and I got caught. I regret giving in to temptation not only because I got caught, but because I did not stay true to my standards."

On Tuesday evening this week, "The Gospel According to Mac" premiered on ESPN's 30 for 30 series. I was riveted. It was like living my junior high and early high school days all over again. My wife sat on the couch with me watching the show asking questions about all that I remembered from that team. It was awesome. I cringed when Eric Bieniemy fumbled on the first drive in the Orange Bowl even before the ball dropped from his hands on the screen. The memories were crisp and it was fun to watch.

However, there was a difficult scene to watch, especially knowing that I was writing about Honesty this week - the scene highlighting the "fifth down" debacle at Missouri. The hardest thing about it was the total lack of remorse for taking the fifth down by Coach McCartney. Now, this is not an indictment of him or his actions. There was a lot going into his decision and I have no right to judgement. But it was hard watching Coach Mac justify dishonesty.

Maybe the harder part of the whole thing was knowing that I probably would have done the same thing.

Click the link below to view a video called "Sportsmanship" produced by The Foundation for a Better Life.

Sportsmanship

from Foundation for a Better Life

Life sure is easy when it's portrayed in a movie, isn't it? While the film tries to portray peer pressure and championship-game pressure, it's just different when you're in the moment.

The only thing we can do is pray for wisdom and discernment in that moment so we can overcome the temptation towards dishonesty. When we fall, we fall on the grace of Christ by admitting the mistake and ask for forgiveness. We also have to offer forgiveness and grace to those who fall to dishonesty in the heat of the moment. We can all be thankful for those ideas of grace, mercy, and forgiveness in those moments of dishonesty.

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