Bob  Burney

"I’m going to hold my breath till I turn blue!”

Most parents have heard similar words from toddlers who don’t get their way. Outbursts like these are some of the earliest expressions of our fallen nature. Upon hearing this, a reasonable parent begins the long process of teaching the child that selfishness and temper tantrums are not appropriate. That would be a reasonable parent. Unfortunately, reason seems to be a diminishing quality in today’s parents. For many parents today, narcissism on steroids has replaced reason.

For example, many are shaking their collective heads over a bizarre situation playing out in football crazed Texas. A 14-year-old incoming freshman high school student tries out for the junior varsity cheerleading squad. This happens every year in big and small towns across America. What happened in Yorktown, Texas, however, is a dramatic illustration of just how narcissistic our culture has become.

The young lady in question didn’t make the squad. She was cut. Again, a reasonable parent would use this as a golden opportunity to teach their daughter that this is an important “life lesson." The lesson may have sounded something like this: "Honey, life often is not fair. This is going to make you stronger.” Not in Yorktown, Texas! In a television interview the rejected cheerleader said she cried constantly for three weeks, claiming that being a cheerleader was her entire life.

At this point the parents needed to do something. So what did they do? They did what has become the "American Way" in a situation like this—they sued. Yep, they sued. The family’s attorney said, "We have no other option but to move forward with the lawsuit." The details at this point are sketchy. The school is saying one thing; the girl, her parents and their attorney, another. But a lawsuit because she was cut from a JV cheerleading squad? What do these parents think they are teaching their child? “Honey, whenever you don’t get what you want just remember those three wonderful letters S.U.E.” and “Sweetie, just remember, today there is an attorney for everything!”

Life is seldom fair. Reasonable people—and Christians above all—understand this reality. However, this sad commentary on one family's response to a perceived injustice is an ideal time to rehearse a distinctly Christian understanding of life's tests and trials.

Bob Burney

Bob Burney is Salem Communications’ award-winning host of Bob Burney Live, heard weekday afternoons on WRFD-AM 880 in Columbus, Ohio.

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