Monty Williams is a former NBA basketball player and currently an assistant coach with Oklahoma City Thunder. Earlier this month, Williams’ wife Ingrid was killed in a car accident when Susannah Donaldson’s car, traveling at 92 miles per hour, crossed over the median and hit Mrs. Williams’ car head-on. Both women died, and three of the Williams children sustained serious injuries.
I do not know the details of Mr. Williams’ religious convictions, but I know that at his wife’s funeral, he taught some important lessons concerning Christian love. Here is an excerpt from Mr. Williams’ eulogy for his wife:
“I want to close with this, and I think it’s the most important thing we need to understand. Everyone is praying for me and my family, which is right, but let us not forget that there were two people in this situation. And that family needs prayer as well, and we have no ill will towards that family. In my house, we have a sign that says, ‘As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ We cannot serve the Lord if we don’t have a heart of forgiveness. That family didn’t wake up wanting to hurt my wife. Life is hard. It is very hard, and that was tough, but we hold no ill will toward the Donaldson family. And we, as a group, brothers united in unity, should be praying for that family because they grieve as well. So let’s not lose sight of what’s important.”
Notice several biblical lessons from these remarks:
- Christian love dictates care even to those who have harmed us. In Jesus’ words, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27-28).
- Christian love dictates willingness to forgive. In Jesus’ words, “Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him” (Luke 17:3-4).
- Prayer from a sincere, obedient heart is powerful medicine in all of life’s difficult circumstances. In Jesus’ words, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11).
We can learn much from Monty Williams’ attitude, and we can learn much from the heart of a loving Father Who sacrificed of Himself when we had hurt Him (Romans 5:8).