If you’re updated about news in the sporting world, you’ve probably about Renaldo Balkman, a former NBA player who got signed to play for the Petron Blaze Boosters for the biggest basketball league in the Philippines, and how his emotional outburst brought him to physically confronting referees, his own assistant coach, and his teammates—even strangling one of them.
When I heard about the news, more than anger and annoyance towards him, I felt sympathy towards Balkman. While I don’t discount the fact that what he did was wrong, I am hurt with the idea that despite all the possibly good steal and rebound stats he had while playing, or all the points he scored, what people will remember about him is this moment.
Here, we have a man who probably had an emotional meltdown, which is just like what happens to most of us during times when we feel pressured or just generally annoyed. I myself remember one moment in my high school life when I had utmost emotional distress leading me to almost physically harm myself and those around me. The only difference I have with Balkman, however, was that he was in front of thousands of people in the stadium and thousands more watching on TV who did not know about how he felt, or what happened to him earlier that day which might have triggered his general aggressiveness. All we know is what we saw live or on TV.
This reminds me of Paul’s reminder to the Philippians. As Christians, all eyes are on us—on what we say or what we do. If we are seen arguing with someone or grumbling about something (especially if it’s related to a fellow Christian or your church or ministry), it sends off a wrong message, which will probably what others will remember the most about us & our faith.
Let’s be conscious of what testimony our life, actions, and words tell to the world. Every moment is an opportunity to minister. Use it wisely and don’t waste it by causing someone to doubt the message of the Gospel just because of a bad day.