Monday, March 3, 2014

There is no condemnation...

Awakening Greatness...3/3/2014

The verb: condemn means to 
express complete disapproval of, typically in public; censure. To criticize, denounce, revile, blame, chastise, berate, reprimand, rebuke, reprove, take to task, find fault with; to blast or lay into….

You are nine years old, perhaps you have played sports for several years, perhaps you are trying something new that seems fun. Whatever the reason they choose to PLAY, I think at this point in a child’s life, we can all agree it is to gain (rudimentary) skills, develop a love for a game, or see what it is truly like to be on a team. Hopefully this experience will encourage a life long love of athleticism.

This year, Beth decided she wanted to play basketball.  The season started out great; just what Jeff and I wanted for our oldest daughter. It was low key, there was a focus on teamwork, she was making new friends in a new community, and Jeff and were making friends with some parents...It was all we could hope for. Then something twisted happened.  As we progressed through the season, some parents forgot that we were watching nine year olds. I have never in my life experienced the verbal bashing that parents started spewing. To be honest, I have no idea where it come from….just that it is now a part of every single game.  It became twisted….twisted like so many things do in our society. I think this happens alot. We mean for things to be good, but the results we yield are not what we expected. This happens daily (with me), I wake up with the best of intentions, but even just one hour in this world by myself and I fail miserably. I don't need anyone pointing out my failures, or mis-steps (I am perfectly good at that). But, what if I did have someone yelling at me when I did make a mistake, what would that look like....

The sidelines, of the (Nine-Year-Olds) basketball game, became a breeding ground for condemnation. It didn't matter if these girls played offense or defense the public ridicule started. Straight-up YELLING...”Don’t let her have it.”  “What are you doing” “Are you kidding me?” “Are you just giving them the ball?” …and ON and ON and ON. There was no end…This was loud chastisement, and it usually had a name of a CHILD associated with it…sometimes their daughter, sometimes someone else's daughter.  My low point was when a mom actually stood up and shouted, “YES” when a NINE year old (on the other team) missed a shot. On the other bleachers, some mom was so proud her daughter even had the chance to take a shot - perspective... Well, we went from bad to worse…The public blame being spewed when a shot or rebound was missed…a girl forgot to call a play….a screen wasn’t set up in a timely manner, a girl traveled, or double dribbled….did I mention the are nine?  The sidelines became an uncomfortable place…and when the game was over it was even sadder….the pointed statement, “why didn’t you __________________?” started. 

I couldn’t get over this. I had a nagging feeling about the message we were sending our children. We want our  precious girl to know that we are proud of her for simply playing, trying, and having fun….It is not based upon her performance. We love her if she wins, if she loses, if she makes a shot, and if she misses. Our one requirement, that she doesn’t quit. After each game, I choose to only say….”I love to watch you play.” I do. I take great delight in all of it..just as the Lord delights in me when I am doing something. 

The Lord your God is with you,
 the Mighty Warrior who saves.
 He will take great delight in you;
 in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
 but will rejoice over you with singing.                                                         Zephaniah 3:17

There are times I [have to] bite my tongue because I feel I could give “constructive criticism.” I have resigned myself, that this is the role of her coach at this point. I am there to be her cheerleader whether she sits on the bench or is the leading point guard. 

As life often does, this got me to thinking about my relationship with God. One of the beauties is, as it says in Romans 8:9,  Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Not only does He delight, in me, but there is no condemnation. He is not a God of ridicule, blame, or chastisement. I cannot imagine they way I would feel if when I set out to do something, I heard voices from the sidelines yelling at me during the times I messed up. Let me tell you the yelling would not stop. There are times when I am on my game, but there are also times...well it is not pretty. I don't need someone to point out each time I mess up….as soon as it happens. I have my own voice to tell me I messed up.  The result of someone pointing out all my mistakes would lead to me wanting to quit, and ultimately hate the game I was playing.

Are you worn? Do you feel like giving up? Are the harsh realities of your life too much to bear, is there a nagging voice that won't let up? Today, let it go......LET IT GO! You Tube Disney's Frozen, Let it Go, and sing at the top of your lungs! Learn to play again, without the voice on the sidelines. Do this for your children as well....Learn. To. Let. It. Go! It will benefit your family. In our world, too many of us feel like we aren’t good enough. What if raised our kids in a way in which they are confident. What if we really provided them with a soft place to fall when the messed up. What if we showed them the game was fun and worth playing when we won as well as lost....

Today, Rest in God's love for you. He delights in you, and is singing over you. What a beautiful picture of unconditional love. He does this for you so that you may be able to do it for others. Be love!

No comments:

Post a Comment