Our words say a lot
I have already heard with my 55-year-old ears an adult complain about playing time.
And, it was in a scrimmage.
Yes, a scrimmage.
So, I headed to biblegateway.com and typed “mouth” under the English Standard Version and 330 references pop up.
The top one – “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” – Ephesians 4:29
“That may it give grace to those who hear.”
We need to edify, not crucify.
Lift, not crush.
Help, not cast away.
I walk into establishments and listen to people whine all the time.
You don’t like your job, then leave.
It’s simple, yet it’s not that simple.
It’s easy to go through life finding all the bad.
Really easy, in fact.
Not the easiest thing in the world to let the bad go and find some sort of positive message.
Yet, it’s not that hard, either.
There are 44 verses in Proverbs alone.
“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” – Proverbs 13:3
We aren’t at practice.
We don’t see effort.
We don’t see attitude.
We don’t see the good or the bad.
We have to take a teenager’s word regarding practice.
No one puts together a game plan to lose.
The 10 football games are won and lost during the season, but preparation for those games began last December-ish.
Hard work does not guarantee success, but it makes success easier to obtain.
Can you imagine being Noah and, at age 500, is asked by God to build an ark?
There are many times I don’t want to get off the couch at 55 and love me some good naps.
It was 300 cubits long (450 feet), 50 cubits wide (75 feet) and 30 cubits tall (45 feet).
Basically, bigger than a high school football stadium.
It took Noah a little less than 100 years to build the ark.
But, at that age, at that time, it’s what was asked of him.
And, he did it.
That was his role.
We all have roles.
Some bigger than others.
Roles change, as life changes.
One player could be a fullback for two years and then asked to play on the offensive line.
That player has two choices – do it or not.
That player then has to more choices – do it with a good attitude or a bad attitude.
Both of them.
That’s where team comes before individuality.
Player chooses not to change, player sits the bench.
Player chooses to change and does so with a bad attitude, player sits the bench.
But, still his choices.
A history teacher asks that a 20-page paper is due Sept. 30 on any subject.
All kids in the class then have a choice to do the paper or not.
They have a choice on the subject matter.
They have a choice on when to start the paper.
They have a choice on how much work they will put into the paper.
And, more times that not, all of the above equals the grade given.
Same in sports.
If the student chooses to start the paper on Sept. 1 and work on it 20 minutes a day.
Then, by Sept. 29, the day before it’s due, that’s 580 minutes spent on the paper.
If the student chooses to start on Sept. 28, there’s not a lot of time left to invest into the assignment.
Same in sports.
We adults don’t play.
We encourage, not discourage.
We get behind the team.
We don’t have roasted coach for dinner with a side of apathy.
We engage, not disengage.
“The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.” – Proverbs 18:4
Get a picture of that verse.
Let it sink in.
Our words mean a lot to a lot of people.
The tone of voice in which we say them adds inflection to move people.
Let kids be kids.
Let coaches be coaches.
Let teachers be teachers.
Let the administrators be administrators.
We support them all.
It’s really hard to be a helicopter parent when our kids go to college.
I dare some adult to complain to a professor about the grade given for a 25-page paper – you know, a big kid paper.
College professors don’t want to talk to us adults.
College coaches and athletic directors are the same.
And, yes, the same goes for high school teachers, coaches and administrators.
I’ll say it.
Let them do their jobs.
If there is something amiss, let the student do the work.
We adults do not immediately go to the school board, or more commonly in some parts, straight to the superintendent.
Oh, wait, yes we do.
Let the child figure it out.
Let the child struggle while trying to figure it out.
Our youth will eventually get it.
And, when the do, we are right there with them.
Always remember, that when your child gets to high school, you have spent way more time with them that their soon-to-be coaches or teachers.
“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.” – Matthew 15:18
(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, followed on Twitter at @MathisonMike or heard weekday mornings from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. with Joey Klepack and from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturdays on WEIR-AM).