It’s day four in our five-part reading plan on Fantasy Football, and I'd like to unpack one of the most common aspects of this great activity - trash talk!
Even though we're playing an imaginary “sport,” when you get a group of guys together in a league, the competitive juices flow and the back and forth banter becomes prevalent.
During Fantasy drafts, you hear plenty of feedback and responses from league members when they think you made a terrible pick. They also give you a hard time for not knowing how to pronounce a player’s name...remind you of your poor performance in Fantasy last year...and joke with you about the player you drafted way too early.
When you talk to your buddy during the week leading up to your matchup against him, you both make your case for why you think you are going to win, which leads to the trash talk intensifying on gameday.
Growing up around two brothers and lots of uncles, and playing Fantasy with my close friends for so many years, I’ve developed a thick skin. I’m used to others ripping on me and giving each other a hard time is expected. Trash talk can be friendly, amusing and fun, but I also know it can go too far.
While playing Fantasy Football and living out our daily lives, we need to check our hearts and realize the words we say to others make an impact one way or another.
As entertaining as trash talk might be, do we want to be known as someone who builds others up or tears them down? In all aspects of life, we must be aware not to cross the line and make sure that what we say doesn’t cause someone else pain.
It’s easy to blurt out whatever comes to mind or always point out someone else’s faults, but “The one who guards his mouth [thinking before he speaks] protects his life; the one who opens his lips wide [and chatters without thinking] comes to ruin.” (Proverbs 13:3 - (AMP).
We’re challenged and commanded in Ephesians 4:29 (AMP) to "...not let unwholesome [foul, profane, worthless, vulgar] words ever come out of your mouth, but only such speech as is good for building up others, according to the need and the occasion, so that it will be a blessing to those who hear [you speak].”
Ultimately trash talk and any hurtful comments toward others are hollow and really don’t add value to their lives. However, we can make someone’s day better and make them feel loved when we follow 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT):
"So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”
As followers of Jesus, we need to be a light in the world who brings hope and joy to others. A little trash talk might be fun, but encouragement carries a lot more positive weight. Life is hard enough without getting verbally beat up all the time.
We need each other on this journey of faith. As (NIV) says, “ See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called 'Today,' so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!