Lebron’s Loyalty & the Consequences of James 3:16

Posted: July 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

Indeed it says much of how stained our culture is with a sense of entitlement when a man believes he can expect to have an hour long ESPN special in order to tell the world where he will throw a hunk of rubber into a metal circle. Although there was money raised from it which went to charities such as the Boys & Girl’s Club of America, nevertheless, that Lebron James is being called “King James,” I believe, has ran to his head and heart for far too long.

Lebron is a one of a kind basketball player who I enjoy watching and truly has been given a gift from God. He is one of the few players comparable to Michael Jordan and was expected to surpass Jordan in many ways, at least until his recent decision. Which brings us to our discussion for this post: loyalty.

Loyalty is synonymous with fidelity which we see throughout the Bible. It is commonly used to imply a characteristic of who it is describing. The opposite of loyalty would be selfishness and selfish ambition.

Lebron’s move to Miami from Cleveland is an example of disloyalty and thus it follows, an example of selfish ambition. Not wanting to rag on Lebron, his recent decision does, however, teach us about the culture we find ourselves in: Advancing yourself at the expense of others will lead to disorder. 

This is important to note and be aware of because for every arena shaking dunk Lebron throws down, there sits millions of fans – without Christ – who willingly follow Lebron “King” James (and other celebrities) as if he were the King of glory (Psa. 24) rather than for who he and who all celebrities really are – pawns of the public.

James 3:16 has an interesting warning for those who seek after selfish gain: For where intense jealously and selfish ambition exist, there arises disorder and every evil thing.

In this context, James discusses the hallmarks of someone who is  ζῆλος (intensely zealous) for self-advancement which the Bible (particulalry, the book of James) puts in contrast to true wisdom which comes from God. Jealously is defined in the Bible as envying someone else’s success. Selfish-ambition (ἐριθεία) is the desire to achieve one’s own advancement at the expense of others. When these two collide, it causes disorder, instability, discontentment, and confusion (ἀκαταστασία).


Jealously and self-ambition habitate in the lives of those in our culture we know as celebrities, Lebron included. And, in light of this, if we ask where then is the disorder and confusion? We need only to look at any magazine in the checkout aisle of your local grocier and see how morally imbalanced the lives of the celebrities we love to watch are. These headlines make normal and public things we once would blush over, such as who is sleeping with who, and who is having who’s baby. For Lebron, the disorder is seen in his Cleveland jerseys being burned, purchased for less than half the price they were once sold for, and a whole state which feels betrayed.

As God’s children, we must heed the warning presented in James 3:16, that acting upon our selfish ambition will only cause disorder.

May we hold fast to the God’s word so that we may live a life not in confusion or disorder, rather one which is based off of pure wisdom from above, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy, and good fruits, unwaivering without hypocrisy (James 3:17).

For Lebron, may we not be surprised if disorder arises on the court amongst him and his teammates, only to be found at the end of the season in confusion over still not being able to win the championship Lebron has promised to deliver.

  1. John LaTorre says:

    Ok, I am in no way a Lebron fan but all this talk and Judgment lately being put solely on him seems unjust and unfair (not just your article). I think it can be spread out some. However, I do agree with you about greed and selfish ambition. In the last days men will become lovers of themselves. That has been taking place in a blatant manner long before Lebron chose to spend an hour at ESPN in CT to announce his trade. That stint along with all the other marketing schemes is formed in the minds of Lebrons agents and advertisement team along with the NBA and their whole marketing group. A monster is not created on his own. It sells brother and the NBA loves it. Its not just Lebron, its the whole association.

    Also, comparing MJ to Lebron on the court is a wash at this point. At least before he pulled this stint he could be thought of as possible being on MJ level, but no anymore. However, comparing these two off the court they both fail miserable in the eyes of God. I don’t for one second think Jordan is a more loyal person because he stayed with the bulls his entire career. I am sick of hearing about Jordans loyalty! And he is my favorite basketball player ever. Not to judge or pull another mans name through the dirt but Jordan cheated on his wife multiple times, had a gambling addiction, and is known as one of the most prideful and arrogant guys. IS THAT LOYAL? No. We could put a microscope on anyone of these dudes who isn’t correctly connected with God and the results would be the same. And I am pretty sure both Lebron and Jordan do not plead allegiance to Christ., so this is to be expected. I am definitely tracking with you on the scripture from James though. But can we expect anything less from a regenerated heart? Now, if Tebo or Howard were in this predicament then I would be worried. What do you think?

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