Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Head Injuries

     The sport of football has undergone a great amount of scrutiny in the last few years. Amateur and professional athletes have endured traumas to their heads that have resulted in concussions and possibly long-term effects such as dementia and memory loss. Studies have been publicized in journals, newspaper articles and documentaries. Results from the light shed on this problem include improvements in headgear and rule-changes concerning tackling. Even with the changes, there is still an awareness that football is a sport that carries the very real possibility of  injury. Players and parents should be aware of the risks. 
     There is another type of head injury, however that is now being discussed   concerning the NFL: verbal abuse. The recent incident involving a player for the Miami dolphins has sparked conversations about this problem. A young offensive lineman withdrew from the team because of abuse that he has   allegedly taken from his teammates. While speculation should be approached with caution, it is still sad  to see these types of things coming from athletic teams.  
     Over the years, we have come to see coaches and players involved in incidents that have resulted in tirades and screaming at individuals or groups. A decrease in sportsmanship and  a marked increase in taunting and trash-talking have been seen in the last twenty years at all levels of athletic events. 
    These types of incidents are also indicative of a social issue involving individuals from all walks of life. People apparently feel justified in saying what- ever comes to their mind, not only by mouth, but also by posting on social net- works as well. 
     Some people believe the answer is  the implement of anti-bullying rules and laws. Ironically, this call comes in the midst of a culture that openly challenges rules and laws. The true answer to this problem lies in an examination of one’s heart and a correction on a personal level. 
     As with most social issues, this problem began at individual levels and became pervasive through society. In other words, it starts in the heart and we must conquer  it one heart at a time. As we live  within the framework of relationships, we must practice self-control and expect others to do the same. Bitterness must not be fostered and encouraged and words must be chosen wisely. 
     Let us heed the words of  Scripture and encourage those around us to do the same. “A man’s spirit will endure sickness, but a broken spirit, who can bear? . . . “Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruits.” (Proverbs 18:16, 21)

- via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Calvert City Church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  Lance Cordle preaches for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:
http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com


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