Wrong Hoop

“…But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
- Romans 5:8

Back in the 6th grade I fell in love with the beautiful game of basketball. Being a seasoned soccer player my whole life up until that point, I loved the idea of attempting to conquer a new sport!  Halfway through the season, in the second half of our recreational game, I had a breakaway and swiftly glided to the basket to shoot a layup. However, I missed that layup that was supposed to be an easy 2 points. Being the determined soul that I am, I kept shooting knowing that one of these days the basketball would make it through the hoop. I frantically was shooting at the hoop thinking, “I gotta hurry up and score before the other team gets down here.” I thought it was rather odd that none of the opposing players were coming to rebound and try to steel the ball from my grasp, and even more odd that my teammates were nowhere to be found either. After my fifth attempt, one of my teammates finally made it down the court, grabbed my arms to ensure that I wouldn’t shoot again and said, “You’re shooting at the wrong basket!” I looked back at the other side of the court where every player and all the referees were staring at me confused and amused. Turns out I hadn’t quite gotten used to the fact that after half time the teams switch sides and shoot at the opposite basket than the first half. I was so embarrassed because not only did I shoot at the wrong basket, but I continued to shoot at the wrong basket until my fellow teammate intervened.

When navigating life, it is not always easy to recognize that we are “shooting at the wrong basket”, but thankfully we have the Holy Spirit—the Helper—to gently convict and guide us in the right direction. Isn’t it comforting to know that we all sin and make mistakes?

 “For all fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
- Romans 3:23-24


Jesus died for our past, present, and future sins. He knew that we would “shoot at the wrong basket” and He chose the cross anyway. He doesn’t want us to dwell on our mistakes, but desires us to learn from them. And because of His grace, we not only get pardoned for shooting at the wrong hoop, but we get the opportunity to shoot at the right hoop as well. Let us rejoice in the truth that Jesus is the coach that never walks away—even when you “shoot at the wrong basket.”


1. Can you recall instances in your life where the Holy Spirit intervened and redirected your path for your ultimate good?

2. Share with a friend about a time where God prevented you from “shooting at the wrong hoop” and ask them to share in return.

3. Take time to thank God for his AMAZING grace!



Heavenly Father, we are so grateful that we can come to you just as we are, and that you love us deeply. Thank you that you delight in us and that grace was your idea from the start! Holy Spirit, we ask you to guide our every move and keep our hearts in tune to the rhythm of your grace, especially when we don’t feel worthy of it. We thank you that forgiveness is not a feeling, it is a fact, because we are your children. Please give us opportunities to share what you’ve done in our lives with others. Thank you for the cross and the promises of your Word. We love you Jesus, and we pray all of this in Your Great name, amen!