Sports analogies are used a lot in sermons and teaching lessons because they are easy to relate to for most people. They are almost like the parables Jesus told His disciples and the people to help them understand His ways. Yes, I am going to use a sports analogy here today.
My daughter and her team played in the 18U Dixie Texas State Tournament. They placed second and played so well all weekend. There is one team that gave them a bit of a problem, which is the team that will now represent Texas in the Dixie World Series in Louisiana in a couple of weeks. That is great for the girls. At this age, they all work very hard to be recognized for their efforts and find success as a result.
As proud as I am of my daughter and her team, the loss was a hard pill to swallow. Not because it was a loss, but because of the way the other team's parents behaved in the stands. They were shouting things at our girls like "You Suck" and worse. These parents are grown adults that should know how to behave better. These parents should have been able to recognize the fact that they could have just easily been on the losing end of this weekend. I told my husband (who coached our daughter's team) that while I was hoping the other team's girls did well at the World Series, it was shame the parents got to go and participate. Their behavior was shameful and embarrassing and held no class or sportsmanship at all.
That set of parents was a good example of the old behavior we are to put to death as Christians. We are called to encourage and exhort one another as Christians, which is not unlike what fans do at a sporting event for the team they want to support. Good fans don't bash the other team, they just encourage theirs. Fanatical, serious, fans that forget it is a game, end up behaving as the parents we ran into this weekend. God does not want us to tear each other down. He wants us to build each other up. Whether that takes the form of supporting our children in a positive, constructive manner during the extra-curricular activity or to just sit quietly behind closed doors and uplift them in prayer each and every day. God does not want us to tear down those that cannot defend themselves. Our children have enough to deal with and fight with on a daily basis. Why would we give them something else and steal their joy from them by being destructive?
The sad thing is we do this to each other as Christians every day. We eat our own without a second thought as we use information gained through prayer requests to be destructive instead of encouraging and uplifting. We must rise above the destructive behavior and look for ways to bless and encourage each other. When one brother or sister is struggling with something and feels close to defeat, don't go in for the kill. Lift that brother's or sister's arms up in prayer...help them stand fast and stand strong against the enemy. Don't be part of the problem. Be part of the solution. Be a blessing. Be encouraging. Provide exhortation. Bring love and compassion to them when they need it the most.