French soccer star Zidane has been billed as the greatest soccer player of his generation. After his head-butt of Italian player Materazzi in the World Cup Final he’s now even more famous for not controlling his temper.
Zidane claims Materazzi repeatedly insulted him on the field. One insult too much, he felt, justified a head butt. And the rest became red-hot headline news.
I pray that we all learn from Zidane’s experience.
Was the head-butt really worth the sacrifice in reputation and dignity Zidane has suffered since?
If Zidane had been able to keep his presence of mind and ignore Materazzi’s taunts, which could have been intended to produce the very results they caused, the world would have known nothing about it. The game would have ended, maybe differently, and the dark words long forgotten as empty verbose.
Cussing, swearing, heckling, mocking and name calling are nothing new. Millions of people face some form of this unpleasantness everyday.
If there was truth behind the insults, that would be one thing. But so often, there is not a shred of fact to be honored. Invective is the taunt of evil to catch us off guard. And we must not get unwarily drawn in.
We can keep our poise by remembering it’s not the words the matter, but the truth.
If someone insults us with a lie, we don’t have to get mad or upset. We can keep our spiritual poise intact and counter with the truth. If the truth is not received, we rely upon the Christ to take care of the rest as we go on with our business.
Only pride and self-righteousness get insulted. We want to do away with these enemies to good character and disposition anyway. So we can love more, react less, trust truth to prevail, and not be intimidated by the insulter. We’ll keep our good reputation intact and not become the victim of an ill-timed head-butt.