Many, many moons ago, some friends of mine and I were sitting around at SFC (in our house) after a long day of shredding. Like typical shedders (or old men after a round of golf) we were sharing our “war stories” from the day.
One guy had crashed really hard on the biggest jump in the park. He was okay, so everyone was laughing about it. Another guy had learned a new trick on a rail and was fishing for compliments in the typical male fashion, “Yeah, did it look wack or was it okay?”
Then, another guy chimed in who had been at a different resort that day. He said, “Oh yeah? Well, I landed a backside 9 off of the second one at the other resort.”
The room immediately went silent, and everyone knew what was happening. This dude didn’t land a 9, but he was claiming it so that he could get some attention. From the silence, someone spoke, “Back it up.”
Out of the conversation that followed, the crew of us decided that at any given moment, when one of us claimed he or she had done something rad, we were opening ourselves up to a “back it up” challenge. So if Joe says, “Oh yeah, I could drop that cliff”, or “Yeah, I’d front-board through that kink,” someone would yell, “Back it uuup,” and Joe would be forced to go do it.
“Back it up” was our friendly way of holding each other to our words and for years, it served as a reminder that our words are powerful and that bragging or lying to build ourselves up is an unhealthy and ridiculous way to live. “Back it up” revealed the true motives of our hearts and helped us to humble ourselves.
We talk a lot about how our “ACTIONS speak louder than WORDS.” It is imperative that we as followers of Jesus do what we say in our hypercritical culture, especially as Christians are being labeled as hypocritical.
After “Back it up” showed us the shallow nature of “talking ourselves up,” we began to take it to the next level with “Back ’em up” where instead of telling everyone how rad “I” was that day, I would encourage my buddy by telling everybody, “you guys should’ve seen HIM. HE was killing it.”
How do these scriptures challenge us to live within the shred culture? How can we hold each other accountable to staying humble in our arrogance-enriched shred culture?