I’ve never even met the guy, but I’ve seen “The Hit”. Never before in college football history has any player received such pre-season hype and lofty expectation. Millions know his name and that he wears the #7 for the University Of South Carolina Gamecocks. But, how many of us really know the kid underneath the pads?
I confess, I’ve picked this grown man-child apart. I’ve questioned his effort, whether he is telling the truth, and for sure if he even values his other teammates. But, all of sudden I realized I have nothing to back my opinions or conclusions except what I see, read and hear through different media sources. I actually became convicted of my actions and asked myself, “Do I Like Being Clownied?” My quick response was, “NO.”
#1: None of us like people to question our heart. It hurts even more when people we care about question our motives. Who really knows what is going in Clowney’s heart and mind. He may be extremely stressed morning to night. He may be giving all he’s got at practice and at the games. And, he may have a heart the size of Texas. I personally would not know the answer to that question because I’ve never met him and observed his daily behaviors.
#2: None of us like for people to criticize our every move. Some say he is the most watched college athlete ever. Every eye has been on him since the opening kickoff. Anything short of him tackling the entire offensive line along with the quarterback has been unacceptable. Yes, he has been blessed with above average talent and size, but he is still a young man who has human limitations. Society has a way of creating expectations that none of us can achieve. We size each other up and spit each other out. I’m yet to meet anyone that thrives under non-stop criticism. I don’t think Clowney enjoys it either.
#3: None of us like people to jump to conclusions. Imagine being only 20 years of age and being told that you will be the first NFL draft pick in 2014. You will become a multi-millionaire after your junior year of college. Now, that is only if you don’t get hurt playing football this year and you keep yourself focused. Who knows what goes through your head because none of us have ever been told that. Clowney has and we can only assume what that feels like and how that might affect a young man’s head.
Here is my point! We don’t know what is going on in the life or heart of Jadeveon Clowney. We don’t know what it’s like to have that much attention, that much potential, and so many critics. We do know the following: We don’t like anyone to jump to conclusions about us, criticize our every move, or question our heart for no valid reason. Now, you can do what you want concerning this young man. But, I’m going to quit doing all of the above, mind my own business, and choose to treat this kid the way I want others to treat me.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:36-40