The article below is part of “Topical Tuesdays” and part of my weekly email as a Chaplain to my Army unit. I offer these non-religious reads to them praying that they will want more and might view the hyperlinked Christian Resilience videos that I also send to them.
In this particular article, I try to use the energy around the Superbowl to get them to dig deeper into the issue of competition/conflict in relationships. For your own study and use, I suggest the following for your own study and use:
Some related Scriptures:
Leviticus 19:9-18 (especially vs 17-18), Psalm 2, most of Proverbs 27, Matthew 5:1-16, Romans 12:9-21, 1 Corinthians 1:10-31, Philippians 4:1-9, 1 Timothy 3:1-13, James 4:1-12, etc.
Suggested discussion questions:
- What does Leviticus 19:17-18 tell us about conflict and love?
- What are some of the spiritual reasons we tend to resist others’ influence over us?
- Why do most of the Epistles continue to tell believers not to fight?
- Name some specific individuals in Scripture who seemed to compete against each other and how they resolved it or how they were advised to resolve it.
- Name some great benefits to godly confrontation, and elaborate from Scripture.
Superbowl 2017: Falcons vs. Patriots
“Hometown Heroes & Visiting Villains”
by Chaplain Jeff Dillard (24 January 2017)
I grew up in the southeast where the Falcons were pretty popular among most of my friends. But now I live in the northeast where the Patriots a local favorite. Thankfully, I don’t feel stuck in choosing. My unusually poor vision kept me from played organized sports, so I never developed a strong passion for any particular sport or team. But I completely get the intensity of favorites and fiends. I have clear favorites in other areas, and I can get a little hot under the collar when someone else tries to claim the title that rightfully belong to my hometown heroes. I tend to see the best in my guys and the worst in others’ favorites. Of course, they see the opposite. And that can be fine in relatively brief and (mostly) friendly games. It doesn’t work so well in long-term relationships with more serious goals.
You probably remember the most recent World Series pitted two underdogs against each other. And, as we expected, it was an incredible game. This year’s Superbowl may be just as exciting but for the opposite reason: there will be two pit bulls in the pit.
Atlanta and New England have had great seasons, and both had relatively easy wins in their championship games this past Sunday, led by amazing quarterbacks. “Ryan threw for 396 and four touchdowns as the Falcons blew out the Green Bay Packers 44-21 in the NFC Championship Game. Brady followed by throwing for 384 yards and three touchdowns as the Patriots beat the Steelers 36-17.” (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/2017-super-bowl-monday-musings-sizing-up-a-falcons-patriots-shootout/) Like the World Series, many would argue there is no clear statistical favorite. That doesn’t mean we don’t have favorites, though.
Ideally, we should also be able to see and accept the best in our competitors or adversaries (perceived or actual) and the worst in ourselves. This is especially important when we have to collaborate with them toward mutual goals. Spouses must collaborate toward levels of intimacy, sums and directions of finances, philosophies and priorities in parenting, etc.; co-workers must team toward objectives in the short-term and long-term, communication systems, coverage plans when one member is out, etc.; even casual friends must work together toward what enjoyable time will look like.
But if we see our picks as only awesome and others’ as only opposing, we’ll soon have a civil war. Here are a few suggestions to turning your entire team into more of a single unified hometown hero:
- Be intentional to compliment the other person(s) on something specific they do well that you don’t. This can send a message that you view the relationship as synergistic, and it can build greater trust.
- Ask them to name one or two specific ways you could immediately begin to improve your part of the relationship. If you follow through, this can build greater respect and effectiveness between you.
- Whenever they show even a little appreciation for something you did well, thank them immediately and express how that helps you. This will often encourage them to do look for more good in you.
- And when conflict comes (and it will), listen beyond the volume, tone, gestures, etc. and remember: people often get upset because they want us as a hometown heroes. It can be a really good sign.
If you’re interested in reading other posts from this series, “Topic Tuesdays”, you can subscribe to this blog.