On Wednesday I talked about the hobby of being offended. Another favorite Christian hobby is criticizing football players and coaches. We can’t simply watch football, we have to feel like we need to tell everybody on the field what to do.
“Why didn’t he catch that pass?”
“Why didn’t he make that tackle?”
“Why did the coach call that play?”
“Stupid, stupid, stupid.”
For many of us, this is as much a part of the game as who wins. We love to analyze. We excel at pointing out the failure of others.
We even have a special phrase for it, “The Monday Morning Quarterback.”
The problem with being a critic is that we aren’t the ones playing the game. We are on the stands drinking beer or sitting on our couches at home struggling to stay awake.
We are only watching.
We hate seeing a receiver miss a potential touchdown pass and we wonder why he did not do better. We mark the play as an incompletion, a negative statistic. We consider it a failure, and we imagine ourselves doing better.
But when we sit at home and criticize, we are only heroes in our minds. Not only are we not taking the risk of failure, but also success.
The quarterback who overthrew his receiver taught his muscles to put a little less juice on the ball and he becomes more accurate. The lineman who missed his block learned something about the moves of the rushing linebacker and he becomes better at protecting his quarterback. The receiver who bobbles the pass learned to be softer with his hands.
In their failure, they learned, and they became better for having failed.
It makes you wonder if failure is even the right word?
Its probably safe to assume that none of you have a shot at the NFL, but this can also apply to our spiritual lives. You go to church every Sunday and watch. You don’t take risk. You don’t work. You sit in the pew and do nothing.
And maybe you just watch because you are afraid. Afraid of dropping the ball. Afraid of being sacked. Afraid of failure.
And it makes you wonder if the guy sitting on his couch afraid to play the game, has any right to criticize the guy doing all the work?
Are you a Monday morning quarterback or a Sunday failure?
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