In full disclosure, I watched none of the Super Bowl. I was tired, a bit under the weather, and didn’t want to watch a Vol and a War Eagle battle it out for NFL supremacy.
I’ve read a lot today about Cam Newton’s actions during the Super Bowl. He didn’t pay proper respects during the National Anthem, showboats on the field, was a poor sport in defeat. Today, Peyton Manning is being heralded as the consummate professional who always wins with class and accepts defeat gracefully.
We have always been a culture that loves winners and had the ability to pile on others when they are down. It feels like its gotten worse, this practice slowly seeping into almost every life. Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that people were piling on Manning because of an accusation that he had taken HGH? It’s easy to dismiss this as social media’s fault because of the anonymity, but I think that’s just an easy excuse. Could it be that we are simply more critical of one another?
We are lacking grace towards one another and this lack of grace is finding its way into every corner of our lives. Cam Newton is only 24 years old and will probably learn as he goes what it means to be a professional. I’ve witnessed guys at college games yelling from the upper deck at 18 year old kids on the field that they are idiots. We simply do not leave anyone any room to fail or fall short before we pile on them and give them the proverbial kick to the curb. I’ve seen this in how we interact with one another and how we talk about others.
We too often lack the gift of grace towards another. We do not allow ourselves or others the room to fail, therefore we become fearful to try new things. The consequences of failure in the eyes of others has become too great. The greatest lessons we learn often come from failure, but we aren’t extended the grace to make mistakes from which to learn.
This week, many Christians are making decisions about what to give up for Lent. I wonder what would happen if we gave up being critical of one another for Lent? What if we instead embraced the gift of grace that has so richly been given to each of us and generously offered that to others?