When we were growing up and would do something that did not make sense, was out of order, or was done the wrong way, my mother, when she didn’t want to soil our little innocent ears with dirty language (ha ha), would say “you all are doing that, “bass ackwards.” Well, I believe she would say that Mark Cuban’s apology to Denver Nugget forward, Kenyon Martin and his mother, Lydia Moore was ”bass ackwards”
As Dallas Maverick’s owner, Mark Cuban, was walking off the court and leaving the arena on last Monday night, a Maverick fan yelled that the Denver Nuggets were “thugs.” Cuban saw Lydia Moore, Kenyon Martin’s mother, and said to her, “That includes your son.” He said it in a nasty and vitriolic manner. The confrontation was unnecessary and Lydia Moore took offense at Cuban’s statement and attitude.
A couple days later, Mark Cuban did apologize, but he did it on his blog. He apologized publicly before he apologized privately. His apology was “bass ackwards.” What Cuban should have done was first apologize to Ms. Moore and K-Mart and then apologize publicly. He could have done both, but in the right order. Now, I partially understand why he did it the way he did. He reaches thousands with his blog and he wanted to quiet the grumbling of the public. But, he did it “bass ackwards.”
We all go through relationship issues, don’t we? We will either have to apologize for an offense we initiated or we will have to receive an apology from someone who has wounded us. We have all experienced relational strain and friction because we’ve offended or been offended, right? The key issue is not so much the offense, although that is important. I do not want to minimize the gravity of any offense. But, more important than the offense, is how we respond to the offense.
I think Jesus would call Cuban’s apology “bass ackwards,” too. I am not certain if Mark Cuban is a believer, but I believe we can use this situation to inform believers on how to handle conflict when it arises. If we have a grievance or problem with a fellow brother or sister or friend, we should seek to resolve the matter privately and immediately (Matthew 5:23; Matthew 18:15). If we don’t handle grievances and offenses properly, we can end up with broken and irreparable relationships. Broken relationships can hinder our relationship with God (Matthew 5:23) and we run the risk of becoming hypocrites if we claim to love God while we hate or remain emotionally distant from others (1 John 4:20-21). Our attitudes toward others, especially our brothers and sisters in Jesus, is really a reflection of our relationship with God.
I don’t want to give the impression that reconciliation is easy. Most times it is extremely difficult. It takes time, patience, risks, many conversations, a lot of prayer and obedience to Jesus’ words. Even if they do not respond to our apology or us reaching out to them, we are responsible to obey. As much as it depends on us, we must live in and promote relational peace.
The goal of resolving relational conflict privately and immediately is reconciliation. Are you going through a relational conflict? How are you handling it? What has helped you resolve this kind of conflict in the past? What has prevented you from resolving it the way Jesus has instructed us.
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