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  • Writer's pictureMark

Free Throw

Ever try to sink a free throw? Hall of Famer Stephen Curry has a free throw percentage of better than 90%. Think you could hit ten in a row? I would doubt it. I’d be lucky to get my first one in, much less two in a row. When I was in high school I was probably among the worst at basketball. Curry would make the best in my class look like a loser.

Even so, on average he’ll miss one in each ten attempts. The best of the best occasionally misses. When you take his batting average into account, how many holes-in-one, his average call time, and how long it takes him to produce a granite countertop, he’s really no better than you or me.

He does one thing (play basketball), and does it very, very good. Don’t ask him to drill an oil well, though. And forget about him tracking down the FBI’s most wanted.

Curry can’t do it all, and neither can I. We don’t even pretend to. Which leads me to wonder why people pretend to be perfect at all. That’s probably my biggest downfall - I hate to make mistakes. Just ask my co-workers. I call myself the “Slow man on the totem pole” because I’m not picking up new skills the way I used to.

Since none of us is perfect, why does it matter when one of us is “less perfect” than another? When we come to the Judgement Seat, will God ask us our free throw percentage? No. Will He ask us if we can fix a refrigerator, weld two pieces of metal, or defend a master’s thesis? How many Nobel Prizes have you won? Can you carpet those stairs just outside the Pearly Gates? Sink a hole in one?

Did you sin?

Yes. And we all do. The bible teaches that if we break even ONE of God’s laws, then we’re a law-breaker and don’t deserve Heaven. When you’re working remotely and sit there for a minute without doing anything, you’re stealing company time. If you’re still working in-office and take even a paperclip home, that’s stealing. According to the bible you’re no better than the latest mass-murderer. In His eyes we all fall short.

There are lists in the bible about what kinds of people will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Each and every one of us will hit at least one of those items on the list. And if we’re guilty of even one, we’re guilty of them all.

King David wrote, “Against you alone have I sinned.” That’s because he was an adulterer, a murderer, thief, and more.Yet he was referred to as a man after God’s own heart. Why? Because he was sorry for the things he’d done wrong. He wasn’t proud of being a murderer, nor did he justify the killing of one of his best soldiers.

Keep in mind that he was no better than you. In some respects we could say he was worse than anything we have done.

But God doesn’t judge us on a bell curve. He judges us on His standards.

If he didn’t, someone who can hit 90% of free throws might get into Heaven without carpeting the stairs outside the Pearly Gates.

God wants us admit we’re all sinners, and all need His grace to enter.

Even the ones who only take a rubber band from the office supply closet.

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