Don't be 'that' guy

I have unleashed a veritable firestorm of controversy!

Too bad I wasn’t trying to… oops.

I’ve been reading a secular leadership book by Simon Sinek called “Start With Why.” Not a book I chose…  just one I was assigned as preparation for a committee I am serving on, but it’s been a pretty good read.

Anyway, there was an interesting illustration in the book that I pulled a quote from and posted on Facebook, my first mistake.

After several comments to the post, twitter replies, text messages and a few stink eyes from some soccer moms, I realized I may have touched a nerve.

I am pretty perceptive that way. I pick up on those subtleties. It’s a gift.

On top of it all, I got defriended… actually, that word is so stupid I can’t even be mad about that one. It’s kind of like the many times I got undated in high school (sigh).

Ok, so, here’s the quote. Read it and then let me explain. No more defriending, or I’ll to dispray you.

“If it really doesn’t matter who wins or loses, just how we play the game… why do we keep score?”

After posting that you’d have thought I tried to maliciously edit some people’s favorite passage from Scripture.

Promise, I am completely good with that book.

Don’t forget this is a quote from a book, not exactly something I would preach, but let me give you some context.

In just the passed week I have had these three experiences:

  • A grandpa telling me that at his grandkids game he asked a guy to quit cussing at the grade school ballers. This grandpa was then invited to settle it in the parking lot… really?
  • A Facebook friend commented on the “mom fight” in the parking lot after their kid’s game
  • A personal confrontation with a woman at Wal-Mart who dropped the F Bomb on her kid and threatened to beat him, and when we tried to step in called my wife a B… oh, you know that didn’t end well.

Does anyone else think the world is going crazy?

On the other end of the spectrum are the uncontrollable coddlers. So concerned with keeping the peace, making everyone happy and engendering sufficient self-esteem that they are willing to compromise character for the sake of the Mr. Rogers effect.

  • “It doesn’t matter if you win or loose”
  • “The important thing is you have fun”
  • “Just  do your best, you’re always number one to me”

This and about a thousand other parentisms have the potential to foster a generation of young men and women who will never accomplish anything, but they sure will feel good about themselves while they are living in your basement. (Did you here that? I thought I heard Barney singing the “I Love You” song in the background.)

Obviously then, I am not supporting either end of this continuum. I am not a fan of the “It’ll all be ok crowd,” nor am I cheerleading for the testosterone jerks who want to go toe to toe with the 15 year old ref at the YMCA game. Don’t be ‘that’ guy.

The Spiritual/Scriptural reality is somewhere between CromagnaDad and the Stay Puffed Marshmallow Mom.

No, I am not advocating some metrosexual, wishy washy, version of late 90s yuppie parenting. To be right in the middle is to be fully man, or completely woman.

It doesn’t make you a man to lose control over a bad call. It takes a man to keep it under control and tell your kid to suck it up and play harder… life is full of bad calls.

You’re not super mom if you are queen of excuses and easy outs for your kiddos. Endorsing a culture of failure for the sake of feelings has some immediate gratification, but leads to longterm trouble.

I really don’t think Jesus cares terribly about the final score of a 3rd grade girls soccer match, but I also don’t think the God of the universe is fixated on whether those same kiddos are having fun or not. There are some bigger goals he has for us.

I think the primary goal in sports, academics, relationships, anything we do is to have the integrity, character and perseverance to work hard.

Obviously, we can’t win everytime, but we can consistently work our rears off. It may not be about putting W’s in the column everytime, but it’s also most certainly not about floating through life on a continual search to find ourselves.

We shouldn’t beat or baby our kids. We should lead them and grow them up into Godly adulthood. Let’s make little holy rebels out of them.

God wants us in the game and playing hard. Win or lose, no backing down.

13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Php 3:13–14.

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), 1 Co 9:24–27.

12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), 1 Ti 6:12.

35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Ac 20:35.

8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), 2 Co 4:8–10.

3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Ro 5:3–5.

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