The Fall of Saint Michael

From our couches and easy chairs we sports fans tend to confer a moral status on our favorite athletes that they usually do not deserve. Michael Jordan is now confessing to 60 Minutes an extensive and damaging gambling habit. This has been known for some time. When “MJ” was winning six championships with the Bulls, his supporters excused such behavior with references to his “competitive nature.” Or they said gambling was his choice of “recreation,” and besides, he could afford it. More recently, Jordan’s philandering has been exposed.

Remember the commencial that sang, “I Want to Be Like Mike”? I do, and I don’t, if you know what I mean.

This is not to pick on Jordan. But his fall should remind us that sports figures have a limited utility as heroes. Better to confer that status on the less flashy and pampered people all around us: moms and dads, firefighters and soldiers, teachers and pastors. Sounds like a good bet to me.

About Stan Guthrie

Stan Guthrie is an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine and for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His latest book is God's Story in 66 Verses. He also is author of All that Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, and A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy. He is co-author of The Sacrament of Evangelism. Besides authoring, writing, and editing books, Stan is a literary agent, bringing together good authors, good books, and good publishers. Stan writes the monthly Priorities colum for He has appeared on National Public Radio's €œTell Me More,€ WGN's Milt Rosenberg program, and many Christian shows, including The Eric Metaxas Show and Moody Radio'€™s €œNew Day Florida.€ A licensed minister and an inspirational speaker, he served as moderator for the Christian Book Expo panel discussion, Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does It Make?
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