“Oh gosh!” I yelled, frustrated that the former defending champions of college football were struggling with the lowly Hoosiers of Indiana University. It was supposed to be a cakewalk, the Buckeyes were close to three touchdown favorites, and I'm not sure Indiana has come close to beating them in my lifetime. In fact, a running joke between Ohio State fans (and probably fans of any decent Big Ten team) is if one of your stars are struggling during the season, the Indiana game is when they get back on track.
Apparently, MY Buckeyes didn't get the memo. They trailed in the second half. And it was when our quarterback threw a pick in the endzone when I releashed my two word tirade.
And now, everytime we watch football, my two year old says “Oh gosh,” because he thinks that's what you're supposed to say during a football game.
While I'm thankful I said something that could be repeated without blushing, everytime he utters those words I realize the potential damage. “... no human can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.” (James 3:8-9) My son, who sees me pray to God, give thanks to God, and worship God with my mouth, saw its opposite ability, to sin. To give in to anger. Over something as trivial as a football game.
It's humbling to say the least.
I know what some of you are thinking.
“Zack, you're not that bad.”
“Zack, everyone gets a little peeved.”
“At least you didn't say the F-word.”
But here's what Jesus says, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)
The outburst signals the evil within. The evil of discontentment. The evil of unrighteous anger. The evil of hating God. And it influenced my two-year old to think that all football games should be accompanied by said outburst.
In hindsight, it's a bit comedic, something out of a sitcom. But everytime my son says it, a twinge of guilt rushes through my veins. It reminds me that I messed up. It reminds me that I'm still a sinner. Thankfully, it also reminds me of my need for Jesus. Thank God that Jesus died... even for what we typically deem as “nothing major.”
Jesus died for cosmic treason. He also died for my anger and my negative influence. And he can redeem it. He can redeem it by letting me explain to my children that their Daddy is also a sinner in need of grace. And that God can transform me even further to desire the eternal joy of His Kingdom more than the fading kingdom of being a fan of a football team.