Me, Myself, and I

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as ransom for many.” 

I have been doing this teaching thing for 14 years. It has been a very rewarding and humbling job for me over the years. I feel the more I teach, the more God shows me the numerous faults in my own life. Being a teacher has taught me more about my own beliefs than anything I have shared with my students. But, I believe one trait has become worse in my students over the past decade; self-entitlement.

My father was adamantly opposed to the idea of self-entitlement. In fact, I would dare to say he was on the opposite side of that fence. There was a situation early in my life in which I was chosen for an all-star team, and my father coached the team. He told the coaching panel that I was not eligible to be selected for the all-star team, because I did not deserve to be on the team over some other kids. I remember him explaining to me that he did not think I was good enough to be on the team, and he never wanted anyone to question him about favoritism. I often think about my dad keeping me off that all-star team when I have parents complaining to me about their child not getting an award, more playing time, or recognition. I believe we are raising a generation of “me first people” that will greatly shape what our society values the next hundred years.

But, let’s be honest, parents have always been crazy when it comes to their children and athletics. The shift I am starting to notice is not the parent’s belief in self-entitlement, but actual players complaining to me about not getting what they deserve. Growing up it did not matter what I thought of a coach at any level, he or she was in charge and their decision was final. Don’t get me wrong, a coach should not be served as a dictator, but the shift I am seeing in players belief in self-entitlement is discouraging.

Unfortunately, Christians are often the worst when we discuss self-entitlement. There are Christian schools I have competed against and coached for that desperately embrace the idea of self-entitlement. Which, based on my limited knowledge of the scriptures, is the opposite of Christ’s message to us. As followers, we should expect to be treated unfairly. And when we are, we should not throw tantrums and proclaim life is unfair, because in the grand scheme of things, we only deserve death and are saved by Christ’s sacrifice for us.

Looking back, I am proud of my father for keeping me off that all-star team, because it showed me something that I rarely see today. A person that believed accolades for his own son was not as important as personal relationships with players, coaches and our community.

We will continue to team with Ripe for Harvest if you are interested in contributing to Marley’s therapy, education, and medical expense fund. One new thing with Ripe for Harvest is electronic contributions. So, now you can contribute online by following the link below. After choosing a method of payment, scroll through till you find Jack Barr 20212