Sep6MonSeptember 6, 2021By Rob Globke
One of the most common attributes associated with hockey players is one of toughness. Stories of being tough permeate hockey history. Players playing on broken legs. Guys returning to action after getting sewn back together. Teammates jumping in to make a statement after a questionable hit. Defensemen diving head first to block a frozen rubber puck. These are all examples of toughness on display in the game of hockey. (Although, some might argue this creeps close to the line which crosses into crazy, but that’s for another time!)
Unfortunately, over time the definition of toughness has lost its way. Slowly, being tough has become more about being a “winner” vs. being a “loser”. Being tough has turned into picking fights because you want to prove a point. Toughness went from grinding in the corner to trying to put someone in the hospital with a flying elbow. So, it’s easy to look at Proverbs 15:1 and think, “this is not a very good verse for hockey players. I don’t want to be the ‘soft’ guy on the team. I want my buddies to see how big and bad I really am.” Talk in the dressing room and on the ice soon becomes a way for you to tell the world … DON’T MESS WITH ME! Yet, this is not who you are called to be. You are called to be like Christ. The One who endured the cross (and the mockery, insults, laughter, and everything else) for our good. Christ could have proved how tough he was by stepping off the cross and dusting off his knuckles. But, he showed the world what true toughness looks like by humbling himself in gentleness. This should be your response as a teammate. Meet hostility and anger with peace and gentleness. You don’t have to prove a point. You don’t have to stir the pot. You don’t have to pick fights verbally or otherwise. You can choose to be gentle….in the best sense of the word….because this kind of gentleness is actually being tough in disguise.