“…You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matt. 7:1-5
Everything in me was quivering, my face was quivering, and I felt the heat rising in my neck and cheeks, “their kids are just jerks!”
The parents sitting to my right quieted down immediately. They were the parents of the kids in question, parents of the opposing team my son was playing in a game of lacrosse. We lined the lacrosse field, segregated according to our kids’ teams, and somehow my chair ended up next to theirs.
So far the game had been ugly.
The kids were one thing. Taking cheep shots, throwing sticks at legs and necks, intentionally committing fowls and proudly taking the penalties almost before the refs called them. Even going so far as injuring our team so badly that kids were out for the game.
But that’s where it got ugly. As one of our kids lay on the field after one of their kids threw his weight into our player’s back with his stick, a parent to my right farther down the line yelled out, “Great move! Way to take out their player!” And it just got worse from there. My mama heart couldn’t take it any longer as I watched dirty play after dirty play committed while parents cheered them on for each one. I wanted to get a lacrosse stick of my own and play a few mothering moves on their boys, and their parents…
Instead, I reverted to not so subtle name calling. It was not my finest mom moment in my children’s sporting careers. But I was feeling justified, and I felt like there was still more that should be done, or said, which I was refraining from in the heat of the moment.
Afterward, my husband commented that he thought I went a little too far. Shocked, thinking about how far I hadn’t gone, I asked a friend of mine who grew up playing competitive sports, and is raising her boys to play competitively as well.
“Oh I know that feeling! It’s so hard. But they don’t know what they’re doing. Use discernment before you say anything…”
"They don't know what they're doing..."
Whether or not they knew what they were doing, I knew what I was doing.
They may not have been taught to behave any better – and I am talking about the parents here – but I was taught differently. Not only that, but I know what mercy looks and feels like because of the hundreds and thousands of times I have been in need of it from others.
Whether or not they knew what they were doing, I was the hypocrite.