Well, you know the Rex the “F-bomb” Ryan would respond to Dungy’s comments (which I think may be ill-advised) over his cussing.
Ryan’s retort actually makes some sense to me. Here’s a summary and my take on it:
1.) Self-justification and “judgment” Whenever someone “judges” someone else-though very often, and in this case, I think its more of an evaluation-you inevitably get the “don’t judge me b/c I’m a good person” card. And this case is no different. If Rex Ryan really claims to embody this “I’m going to be me” attitude and F$%# everybody else, then why even feel the need to fire back at Dungy? Why feel the need to defend yourself and tell the world you are in fact a good person?
Whenever we forget who really justifies us, we’ll always fire back with the “I’m really a good person” defense. Always. Most people who say they don’t care about what others think actually do. Only Jesus can take this need to defend ourselves away, because he nails it to the cross and exchanges our badness for his goodness. Notice I didn’t use quotes this time.
2.) Cussing and “bad” people. Ryan is right. There are many “good” people who cuss, and plenty of “bad” people who don’t cuss. There are many folks who cuss, but they love better than those who don’t cuss. Words are part of the way we love others, and build them up, but as I John 3:18 reminds us, “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” Humanly speaking, there are many “good” (relative to other people) who cuss, but have loved me better than non-cussers.
Sometimes we think people are acting Christ-like when they’re not cussing. Christianity can become overly reductionistic: don’t cuss, chew, or go with girls who do (I’m not sure what the King James translation of this would be-which unfortunately is all too apropos in my setting). But they may well be cussing and living a life more Christ-like than their clean mouthed neighbors.
In the end, I do think Ryan has a point that he was “unfairly” judged. Positives were ignored.
We’ve got to be careful not to make the dividing line between someone doing right and wrong, cuss words. Again, I’m not arguing that expletive tirades are good. I rather think they are bad. But this can’t be our sole evaluation, nor is it one which scripture places on a higher plane than the failure to actively love others.