Wednesday, July 25, 2007

When Trust is Broken

Scandal has rocked the National Basketball Association (NBA), again. Some are now referring to it as the National Betting Association. It was discovered this week that Tim Donaghy (pictured), a NBA official, has been betting on NBA games. At this writing it is not known if Donaghy called games in such a way that the outcome of a game was affected such as who won or what the point spread was. What does seem to be determined is that Donaghy bet on NBA games and passed on important information about the status or condition of key players to gamblers.

NBA Commissioner David Stern commented, “This is the worst situation that I have ever experienced, either as a fan of the NBA, a lawyer of the NBA, or a Commissioner of the NBA.” Stern has been involved in the NBA for four decades.

The NBA front office, teams and fans all put their trust in NBA officials that they will be objective, trustworthy and dependable to work the game so that it is a fair contest and that the better team wins. Donaghy has betrayed that trust.

This story is noteworthy to me this week. I’m not upset over another sport’s related scandal (ie: Michael Vick, Tour de France, PGA, Barry Bonds, etc.). There’s so many of them coming in rapid fire succession it’s getting hard to care.

This story is noteworthy to me because I’ve been involved in a half dozen situations of broken trust in the past four days. I’ve listened to heartaches and held hands and dried tears and prayed for God’s grace. At the moment I have a little “emotional hangover” from those scenarios.

Whether the trust is broken intentionally or with ignorance the result is the same. A life is wounded and a relationship is damaged. So here’s my reflection--
I know that I’m not perfectly trustworthy. I have the potential and power to deeply hurt others if I break trust.
1. Am I more trustworthy today than last year or any other time in my life? If not my life is headed in the wrong direction.

2. What tempts me to break trust? Selfishness? Greed? Lust? Immediate gratification? Carelessness? Am I placing myself in settings that tempt me to be untrustworthy?

3. How hard do I work to rebuild trust? Sometimes one withdrawal from the “trust” account demands several deposits before my bankruptcy can be overcome.

4. Am I growing in my capacity to trust God and trust others? Do I know how to grow in these ways?

The NBA will no doubt seek to disclose the extent of their broken trust and then establish safeguards to minimize the risk of a future breach. But, there is no way that a safeguard can work 100%. So, if there is going to be a NBA there will be risks associated with trust.

God can bring wisdom and discernment to our hearts to safeguard us from broken trust but if we are going to have marriages, friendships, collegial work relationships or community, there will always be risk.

God help us to continue to take risks with trust.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your reflection. It will hopefully make everyone take a step back and evaluate the direction of their life. One thing I have problems with is trusting too quickly. I have not learned how to safeguard it and pray that God continues to show me to trust Him fully.