Friday, June 20, 2008

The pride, The athlete & The bully

In a book called Season of Life a high school football coach explains what it means to "be a man" in today's society. He answers the question, what makes someone masculine? He says when we are young, the boys that are good at sports are esteemed as "masculine." Then as we become older, the young men who draw the most attention from the ladies are seen as the most "masculine." As we become older men, masculinity is defined by how much money we are worth.

Athletes, in my observations both as an athlete and as a high school teacher, are for the most part proud, arrogant, and self-centered. (generally speaking. There are exceptions, of course) They've got it all! Right? Athletic ability and maybe some attention from the opposite sex. That's "being a man." That's "masculine." Our culture is building in our athletes the very thing that God despises, PRIDE. I cannot tell you how much the word PRIDE is used in athletics. The word is in every slogan, chant, and speech. It is printed on handouts and painted on locker room walls.

The result: This pride reveals itself in the way of bullying or belittling those they perceive as "weaker" or "less masculine."

Never have I been more disgusted with pride, then in the PE locker rooms at my high school where I taught. I witnessed so many of my favorite students suffer from the belittling comments and the humiliating treatment that came from some of our athletes. It broke my heart.

Christian athlete, you are not acting like one of His sheep when you conduct yourself with pride. What a great opportunity to be different, to be salty. Stick up for the bullied, invite in the outsiders, serve others, and humble yourself. Serve God by acting like Jesus, not acting like a jock.

1Cr 1:27
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;

1Cr 8:12
But when you thus
sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.

Mat 25:40 Jesus said:
"And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'

Read David's prayer to God concerning the proud in Psa 10:1 - 18

I welcome other scripture that applies. Post a comment if one comes to mind!

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