Luka Dončić, Montrezl Harrell, and Gentleness

Our society tends to celebrate outrage rather than gentleness. Increasingly, the clickbait stories of trash-talking, violent debates, name-calling, and the stubborn refusal to move an inch towards reconciliation have become a norm.

The NBA showcased three remarkable performances by young talents. Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz scored 51 points while his opponent Jamal Murray from the Denver Nuggets scored 50 points. Yet, Luka Dončić from the Dallas Mavericks stole headlines with a buzzer-beater over the Los Angeles Clippers.

One moment left a remarkable impression outside these basketball games. Montrezl Harrell from the Los Angeles Clippers walked up to Luka Dončić before the game on Sunday and shook his hand.

During an intense moment in Friday night’s game, Harrell had made a negative comment to Dončić in the heat of the moment. Pundits and fans responded on social media criticizing the comment caught on camera.

That handshake on Sunday represented the values of the gospel. Dončić decided not to pour gasoline on the fire publicly. Harrell sought reconciliation during that moment before the game. I can’t shake the power of the moment, because we need these stories.

This morning, I started to read A Gentle Answer by Scott Sauls. His words in the introduction connected me to the handshake from Sunday:

As Sauls’ will work throughout the rest of the book, gentleness requires far more significant cost, amount of patience and grace, and even our pride. Yet, there’s no better gift you can give someone than responding in the way that Jesus has responded to you.

We find ourselves amid an election, pandemic, and continued reckoning with racial reconciliation. You have a choice to pour gasoline on the fire of polarization or do the hard work of gentleness with the grace and truth of the gospel.

The handshake before the game on Sunday with Dončić and Harrell provides us with a glimmer of hope. In the words of Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath…”

So the question for all of us today, will we respond with the gentleness of the gospel?

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Peter Englert

Adult Ministries Director @Browncroft . Host on @WGWPodcast. Married to @RobynEnglert | Subscribe to my blog ➡️