I’ve been fascinated that for the past month I can’t avoid seeing something about LaVar and Lonzo Ball every day when consuming sports media.  

Lonzo had a strong freshman season at UCLA, and has already declared for the NBA draft. He’s talented, confident, and fairly soft spoken.

LaVar, on the other hand, is loud, bold, and crazy. He’s a very proud father who has become a “national sensation” by making outrageous claims and almost daily being interviewed on as many sports outlets as possible.

His comments steal headlines and have caused the media to shake their heads, laugh, and get angry. Here are a few of LaVar’s questionable quotes:

“I have the utmost confidence in what my boy is doing. He’s better than Steph Curry to me. Put Steph Curry on UCLA’s team right now and put my boy on Golden State and watch what happens.”

“I’m going to tell you right now before you see it. UCLA is going to win the NCAA championship. You think I’m playing? Right here and right now. Guaranteed. Come see me when they win it.”

“Back in my heyday, I would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one.”

Very rarely do we see a father of a young star athlete become such a media presence and controversial figure. The debate has gone back and forth on whether or not he’s doing his son a disservice by his on-going comments, or if he’s just a supportive dad who is helping his son.

We can agree that fathers should be proud, loving, supportive, and willing to stand up for their kids, but is there a line that gets crossed when it becomes too much?

We’ll see how the strategy plays out for the Balls moving forward, but one thing we can all take a look at is the underlying evidence of bragging.

LaVar is not the first dad to brag about his son and make sure others know how awesome he is. However, I think we all need to take an inventory of our own heart and ways we either brag about ourselves or our children.

We live in a world where self-promotion seems crucial and standing out is desired. As a result, pushing out our chest is common, and letting others know how special we are…or how incredible our children are…is the norm.

I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my parents’ support and encouragement, and their belief in my abilities. Kids need to know their parents have their back.

But there is a difference between parents proudly talking about their children versus being overly braggadocios to the point of exuding arrogance.

As followers of Jesus, this is an area of life that gives us an opportunity to stand out and point people toward Him instead of ourselves.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 1:31 (ESV), “So that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.'”

In Jeremiah 9:23 (NLT), we are told that this is what the Lord says: “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches.”

Today as we work hard and accomplish great things for the Lord, let’s seek humility and recognize that God is the source of who we are and the provider of what we have.

I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please forgive me for the times I brag about myself and I selfishly desire praise and acknowledgment. I pray my heart would be filled with the motive to praise You and point others toward Your goodness. I humbly ask that any success I have as an individual or as a parent brings honor and glory to You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.