I enjoy watching the bowl games at this time of year. Young men on their way up in the world of football. They’re playing to win a game, but they also know the eyes of scouts are on them. The pros are watching. Their future could be hanging on a great performance.
This football season was the first for my young grandson. It was fun to watch him, to wonder if he’ll play in high school, or in college. It was fun to watch his transformation, suddenly wanting to “muscle up,” and becoming much more conscious of “team.”
But I think the most joy this football season has brought me has been watching my grandson’s mother (my daughter) go through her own transformation. This was the woman who a year ago might have said, “Ewww, don’t touch that bug, it’s nasty.” Or, “Look how dirty you are. Get in there and clean up, young man.” She certainly said, “You be nice!”
This woman paced the sidelines after the first game or two, and yelled things like, “Hit him! Don’t let him knock you down! Move your feet! Block him out!” She would deny it under oath, but I swear I heard her say, “You better hurt that boy!”
Now I know she didn’t want her son to be violent. And she knows nothing about football. But after she began learning a little, she at least realized this: If her son just stands there, he’s going to get his head knocked off. And he’s going to let the team down. So he must be aggressive. He must be strong. And he must understand the objective of the opponent, and stop him.
It’s a good object lesson for Christians. So many of us are just standing around, posing. We look like players, but we’re really just wearing the clothes and looking pretty. Meanwhile, the enemy is charging over the line, wreaking havoc on our teammates. Our kids are still getting messed up with drugs. They’re still falling to the immorality of the age. Our politicians continue to pass regulation that favors the anti-god crowd. Schools have gone completely anti-religion. And we’re posing.
We need to get mean. We need to be violent. In the sense that the verse says, “The kingdom suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” When Paul wrote, “Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand,” he was letting us know that we have all the equipment we need to win. We just need to put it on and get in the game. And get violent.