When you play pick-up basketball who calls the fouls – offense or defense? In most cases the offense calls and it often leads to arguing (because many players think it must be a foul if they missed the shot. There are way more bad calls in a pick-up game than an officiated one. Many are looking for an excuse for why they messed up.) I have always been one to play “defense calls fouls.” I simply think it is the honorable thing to do to say “I fouled you. Take the ball out.” I even think it is honorable to say “Hey, I was the last one to touch the ball; it was out off me.”
This was on my mind this morning after reading the sports news and seeing where a PGA golfer called a penalty on himself during a playoff that cost him his first tournament championship. His infraction was so minute it took slowed down video to confirm it; yet this guy turned himself in. obviously golf is a sport built upon honor. What stood out to me is a particular line from the writer: “Moments later, the playoff was done with Davis' self-imposed violation, something inconceivable in most other sports, where competitors take pride in getting every edge they can.” (CBS Sports.com Wire reports)
In basketball I thought of guys that will fake getting fouled to draw a call (flop); or guys that will tap a shooter’s elbow to throw off his shot; with the mentality that it is not their fault if the ref doesn’t see it. And I know that some reading this will be thinking, “Come on Burden, it is all part of the game.” My answer is this: I know it is part of the game but I don’t think it should be for the believer. We should do all we do to honor the Lord. Even in an officiated game I want my players to speak up and say, “Hey, it was off me.”
I want them to be a bit old fashioned and raise their hand when a foul is called on them to admit their fault.
I understand all too well that this same mentality carries over to everyday life where many believe something is wrong only if they get caught. I know my kids do that; I know I have done it; I would bet that even some reading this blog had some issues with this prior to tax day. Our lives are built around looking for excuses and loopholes. Yet God calls us to simply be honorable.
1 Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD,
But a just weight is His delight. (Proverbs 11)