Fined for Faking

English: Photo of basketball player, Reggie Ev...

English: Photo of basketball player, Reggie Evans. Wilson Wong photo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reggie Evans of the Brooklyn Nets made NBA history the other night. He’s the first man to be fined for flopping.

Basically, flopping is when an athlete pretends to be hit hard and falls to the floor. The effect of light contact with a player from the opposing team is greatly exaggerated in an attempt to convince the officials that a foul has been committed. The intended result is a penalty enforced on the other team. The National Basketball Association is cracking down on it.

It’s not just a thing in American sports. Just watch a few minutes of World Cup Soccer. A man (the women don’t do this) will fall to the ground in agony just to pop up a few seconds later when it becomes clear that the refs didn’t fall for the act. It gets pretty annoying with all the stoppage of play. And, these guys are supposed to be masculine, for crying out loud – willing to take one for the team and fight through the pain. It seems that they are more intent on winning by fooling the officials than they are at winning the game the old-fashioned way.

Just play the game, guys.

Do you ever exaggerate the effects of your walk with God? When I’ve done that it’s been in response to a question about what I’ve done for God lately. We used to have testimony times in church when anyone in the congregation at church on Sunday evening (remember those?) could be called on to tell the church what God has been doing in their lives.

Whenever such a time would be announced, panic, horror and quick thinking would ensue. What could I say that will let people know that I am an upstanding Christian soldier? Better yet, what could I make up about a recent experience that could be magically transformed into a meaningful spiritual anecdote – preferably one where my faith is proven strong.

And so we flop. We try to fool our spiritual communities into believing that we’ve taken a hit for the team. The problem is that it often works, so we keep flopping. We keep pretending that our walk with Jesus is based on self-sacrifice.

But be sure of this – God cannot be fooled. In Galatians 6:7-8, Paul says,

Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. (New Living Translation)

Stop flopping. You may be able to fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time. But you can fool God none of the time. And you can be sure he’s annoyed when you do.

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