IYIM #4: Bashing

“They claim to be first class and the best organization. It’s an embarrassment. It just shows a lack of class they have.”
Terrell Owens

If you follow sports, or happen to have owned a TV or, at the least, possibly found a newspaper at the bottom of a bird cage a few years ago, then you’ll probably know the answer to this next question.

WHO was Terrell Owens referring to in the above quote?

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His own team.

According to ESPN.com, “Owens was upset that the organization did not publicly recognize his 100th career touchdown catch.”

So what did he do?

He bashed his own team. He blasted his coach.

Which led to his eventual firing.

No one in their right mind would bash their own team, would they? I mean, who would say disparaging remarks against the team or group to which they belong?

That’s not winning, duh.

Which reminds me of Charlie Sheen.

Within the last several months, Sheen seems to have taken to bashing his (now “former”) team. In what eventually led to his firing from his hit TV show, Sheen blasted his coworkers, especially his “coach,” Chuck Lorre.

Which led to his eventual firing.

No one in their right mind would really go about and make negative remarks against their team, would they?

Which reminds me of Believers.

It seems like we, as believers of Christ, can easily get caught up in “bashing our team”. Sometimes it gets so easy to unleash verbal fury on another believer because we think that he is wrong, or her theology is whack, or “I can’t believe he hasn’t seen Facing the Giants. Is he even saved?”

Jon Acuff writes, “Adding a smiley emoticon at the end of a bitter sentence doesn’t remove the bitterness. Neither does ‘Just saying.'”

Bashing believers isn’t good for anybody.

I’ve had that happen a lot recently. Whether it’s “friendly” debates on Facebook statuses, or gathering around a table with other guys discussing just how far gone that religious TV show host is, it seems that some believers (myself included) struggle with bashing other believers.

This is becoming a bigger deal than we probably would want. A tweet from one friend reads, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

Bashing believers isn’t good for anybody.

Even Jesus says so. At one point, the disciples saw some other people doing ministry in the name of Jesus. Appalled that they didn’t know those people, the disciples asked if they could shut them up. Maybe by brute force. Maybe by making them watch episodes of “Iron Chef America” (that show is so mesmerizing!).

Maybe by using hurtful words to make them stop.

Yet Jesus said not to. (Luke 9:49-50)

Don’t bash believers. We’re on the same team. It doesn’t look good to non-believers, and it certainly doesn’t make the name of Jesus famous.

Instead, do what Paul writes in his letter to Rome, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all,” pursuing “what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding” (12:18, 14:19).

We’re all a part of the same team, right?

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