Friday, November 28, 2008

Rivalry Weekend

Considering this is a big weekend for rivalry games in college football…I toss out this question for your consideration:

Should the fact that one is a follower of Christ influence how one participates in sports-related banter?

Is trash talk fair game or out of bounds? How about put-downs? Taunting? Is it all just good-natured fun? Is this an area of our lives that we would just as soon have Jesus stay out of?

What do you think?

Play nice…


Brenda said...

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free(Cowboys or Sooners)—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.1 Cor 12:12

My answer is Yes. The fact that I am a follower of Christ SHOULD influence how I participate in the banter that goes on. Banter can be a fun way of communication about sports between friends when they are on opposite sides of the fence. However, there is one side of the fence that we should always be on together and that is God's side. I use to think that sports banter was harmless. Not anymore. I myself can get carried away with my words when it comes to this time of year. God is teaching me great self discipline in not participating in such talk but rather building up my fellow football lovers and seeing the good that can come out of the games rather than the trash talk and put downs that takes place. All that ends up happening is hurt feelings and it puts distance between brothers and sisters in Christ. Trash talk & put downs are most definitely out of bounds! That is simply not a Christ like act! And not an act of kindness either. Even in fun!

I don't think this should only be applied to just "sports" but yet, all areas of our lives.

Can "joking" around about anything fall into this same category? What about at church? Is saying something about someone that makes everyone laugh for the moment okay? If it's funny to one person, and not the it okay to say " was just in fun...or a joke"
I get that every week from people I love dearly and I just roll with the punches. My tongue can be very quick and in this respect, I practice great restraint to not comment back. I don't love them less, but often it still hurts and I just don't say anything.

I don't think that there is ANY area of our lives that Jesus should stay out of. That's just not even acceptable. Jesus is a part of who we are and with that, we don't put him on the back burner just so we can go and act like a fool at a football game, or trash talk, or taunt as many fans on both sides do. I think it is important that we bring Jesus WITH us to every event and let HIM speak through us so that others can see Him. We may not like what others say, or what they do, but all we can do is practice what He has taught us and leave the rest up to Him.

Colossians 4:6 “Let your
conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (NIV)

And I like the message translation of this as well
"Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out"

Romans 15:1-7
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me." For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.

15:4Kind words heal and help;
cutting words wound and maim.

15:26 God can't stand evil scheming, but he puts words of grace and beauty on display

weswaugh said...

Wow...Brenda covered almost every aspect of the issue. I agree with almost everything she wrote, but a couple of her comments show a distinctly female point of view. That perspective is valid, but let me add a guy's point of view.

In sports banter between guys, I disagree that "All that ends up happening is hurt feelings and it puts distance between brothers and sisters in Christ."

For guys, sports banter by itself doesn't cause "hurt feelings" and "distance". Of course, if preexisting, underlying hostility (and/or alcohol) are involved, teasing can quickly make a bad situation worse and should be avoided. As Brenda already quoted, "a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire."

But "banter" can't really be generalized as bad or good. Divisive banter is bad, but some good-natured banter can help guys build relationships. Relationships are made of shared interests and experiences, and team vs. team rivalries provide both for guys.

Having said that, guys know that banter and trash talking can EASILY go too far. But most guys also know the rules and boundaries of constructive banter:
- Limit trash talk when emotions are highest. (For guys this would be while they're competing in anything, but especially while competing in contact sports.)
- If you don't know what the reaction will be, apply teasing lightly.
--- Corollary: Teasing should be applied very lightly (or not at all) to members of the opposite sex.
- Don't be selfish, be funny. "In your face!" and its cousins are selfish--they only make the smack talker feel good. And, if your buddy isn't laughing with you, it's really not funny.

Toni Burns said...

Just got back from dinner with Jason and Heather and a few other friends. While eating we saw the score of the game - sorry.
We are having a great time with the Thorntons.

Cornelius Crew said...

We should definitely play nice, in every aspect of life, including football and so I say this with lots of love - YOUR COWBOYS LET ME DOWN!! sincerly, a very disappointed Red Raider Fan :)

Shane Coffman said...

I'm sorry : (

And, believe me, you don't know how sorry I am...

Linda L said...

Shane, I feel your pain. I was rooting for you while in Lubbock! But on the other hand, if an Oklahoma team has a shot at the title I'm happy. From an OU/TU/OSU/etal FAN!