What can Stephen Curry’s mouthpiece teach us about input from a friend?
As I watched The NBA Finals I was so impressed with Stephen Curry. I love his deep rooted Christian faith and his ability to express it. Every time he makes a successful three-point shot, Curry makes a hand signal pointing toward God, and explains he does it so people will look at “the Man who died for our sins on the cross. I know I have a place in Heaven waiting for me because of Him, and that’s something no earthly prize or trophy could ever top.”
His faith is not the only thing that is noteworthy. The unpredictable nature of Curry’s mouth guard is one of the many things that separates him from any other player in the NBA. “The Wall Street Journal did a recent study looking at all of Curry’s 337 free throws during the course of the NBA season. When not wearing his mouth guard, Curry shot 198 for 214 from the free-throw line, which is a 92.5% shooting percentage. With his mouth guard in, Curry shot 110 for 123, which is an 89.4% shooting percentage. The real difference between these two is 3.1% (or 3.35% real growth), which is a substantial increase in free-throw accuracy.”
After hearing these stats, the Warriors General Manager, Bob Meyer, commented, “Maybe we should communicate that to him.” How do we go about obtaining needed input from our friends, especially about things blind to us but obvious to them? You can’t get advice from just everyone, though sometimes it may seem that everyone is trying to give it to you. You have to choose who you’ll listen to. This is why I’m so wary of unasked-for advice. People who are wise rarely attempt to advise you until you ask for it – because they know you have to be ready to hear advice before it will do you any good.
You Have to Choose Who You’ll Listen To
- Seek out people you admire and respect who have the credibility to give advice. Before you seek advice from anyone regarding a problem you’re having or a decision you’re facing, be careful to choose the right person to give you counsel. Proverbs 14:7 in the Living Bible says it very plainly: “If you are looking for advice, stay away from fools.”
In other words, stay away from people who want to tell you how to run an area of your life that they’re unable to manage themselves.
- Find someone who has your best interests at heart. When you ask for advice, you are putting yourself in somewhat of a vulnerable position. You need to be sure this person has your best interests at heart, that he or she isn’t advising you with a self-serving, hidden agenda.
In addition, think about the following questions when you are allowing people to speak into your life: How well does this person manage their own life? Does this person have my best interests at heart? Will this person tell me what I need to hear, not just what I want to hear? Does this person have the capacity to among a group of trusted friends to help me develop an objective view of my life?
Proverbs 19:20 (MSG) Take good counsel and accept correction—that’s the way to live wisely and well.