Tuesday, 16 February 2016

On cutting Glenn Hoddle some slack

I don't like Glenn Hoddle.
Every time I see him on TV,
which in our house is quite often,
I say something derogatory.

'Why is he even on there?
He was sacked as England manager.'
Is my usual response to his punditry.

Definition alert:
Punditry is a technical term meaning a person,
usually a man, who can talk incessantly about football.

That's most men, as far as I can tell.

On Saturday I was thinking about injustice.
I'd taken a photo of the tills in Tesco, ready for my Lent photo challenge.
But when I got home I took this photo.

Warning: Photo also contains Michael Owen.
I quite like him.
Though he has an annoying voice.
Not as annoying as Jamie Carragher.
What happened to commentators having nice voices?

Here's the photo:

Now I have my reasons for not liking Glenn Hoddle.
He was sacked as England manager in 1999 for making a silly remark about disabled people.
At the time we were leaders of a church that had a disabled lady as one of the members.
I was angry for her too.

But last Saturday,
as I contemplated injustice in another field,
I realised I was still judging him for something he said 16 years ago.

16 years...

And he'd been in a highly pressured job.
What if he had made a mistake?
What if his words had come out wrong?
What if it was time to cut him a bit of slack?

Don't get me wrong,
I'm not excusing what he said.
His words deeply hurt a lot of people.

But I'm not sure I'd like every word I've uttered over the past 16 years
recorded and replayed for all to hear.
Would you?

We all make mistakes.
I make loads.
All the time.

And forgiveness is free.
I know because I've received it more than I deserve.

I can be quick to judge.
And I have the memory of an elephant.
But I think maybe it's time for me to stop judging people,
not just Glen Hoddle if I'm honest,
for mistakes.
For words said in haste.
For actions that should be long-forgotten by now.

And maybe it's time to choose freedom for myself;
by accepting apologies I never received,
from people who have never offered them.

Maybe it's time to extend to others the kind of forgiveness I have received.

To love as I have been loved.

To view people through the eyes of Christ.

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