Family Minister Wannabe

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Meditations in Matthew

I want to start here. This is not a place to be harsh and judgmental (which is easy in the throes of passionate discussion). I believe that we can have a discussion about these topics and do so in a way that is productive, which having and speaking from an attitude of judgement is not. So, as I said before, let's start with Jesus' words in Matthew 7.

"You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your bother's eye."

Judgement is essential to life. I must deem whether situations and persons are safe. I must determine critically whether my path with lead me to my desired destination. I must observe and think about the things people do and say in order to honor their actions and their intelligence. This means I just pass judgement, everyday. I must pass judgement may times a day, everyday. Judgement is essential to life and Christian life, in particular.

However, "judgmental-ism" is neither essential nor is it even Christ-like. When we look down our noses at people because they are different or "wrong," we walk away from the person Christ calls us to be.

Jesus doesn't say a blanket, "Don't judge." He ends this with saying, "... then you will see clearly to remove the speck..." He expects us to judge, but our attitude is everything in terms of judgement. If we come to others ignoring the sin or fault in our own lives or if we come with a spirit that is demeaning or belittling, we are sinning even further. We take over God's place as Judge. He is the one who determines right and wrong, not us. But, if we come with a spirit of grace and mercy, in order to lovingly help remove the faults in others (faults that we have in our own lives; it's another thing altogether to try and "help" people with things that you have no experience with or expertise in) then we are serving God by serving them. We carry another's burdens and love as Jesus loved.

Clutch: Is it Real?

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"Kobe Bryant is so clutch." I constantly hear this statement from people, whether they're basketball fans or not. I have never bought any of this; in fact, I don't believe in being clutch. I'm going to lay out my logic why. Unfortunately, I didn't use any statistics, just pure reasoning. I think there's a variety of statistica proof on the Internet against the notion of clutch. Hopefully, though, mine will make intuitive sense.

My argument is as simple as this: people have a misconception about being clutch because they take into account the number of successes, not the percentage. What does this really mean? Here's one of my favorite quotes (I'll explain how it relates, don't worry):

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. – Michael Jordan

Doesn't this quote deal with failure? Well, yes. But, there's a certain part of the quote I want to focus on. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. Wait, isn't Michael Jordan regarded as a clutch player? 26 misses a lot, especially compared to the limited opportunities one has to make a game-winning shot.

What I'm trying to say is that basically people care about the number of successes. It doesn't matter if a player misses 4 game-winning shots; if they make the fifth, they will be regarded as clutch. There is a similar phenomenon with All-Stars and scoring. Fans think the best players are the ones with the most points. But, that's obviously not true. NBA statistic sites, like Wages of Wins, highly stress the importance of Field Goal Percentage. A player who scores 20 points or more is not that beneficial if their FG% is below 40%. They might as well pass up the opportunity and give it to a teammate who has a higher conversion rate.

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