chip on your shoulder.

2 06 2010

“Chip on your shoulder”

Have you heard this phrase before?
It’s mostly used in sports.

“He’s played his entire career with a chip on his shoulder and that’s worked well for him.” (5 NFC South Players Ready to Pounce, ESPN)

Do you know where the phrase comes from?

The most accepted origin comes from the nineteenth century U.S. practice of starting a fight by placing a chip of wood on your shoulder, daring others to knock it off.

Today the phrase is often used to portray someone who has been slighted and feels an increased desire to prove his worth.

Here’s an example:

Mario Chalmers was a championship caliber college basketball player. Chalmers was projected to be a 1st round top 10 pick.


He was a second round 34th overall pick.


Chalmers felt more than slighted.
“Hell hath no fury quite like that of a scorned NBA draft pick.” (Chalmers Playing Well with Chip on Shoulder, ESPN)

It was his anger and frustration that fueled his desire to show everyone who passed on him that they made a big mistake.
And that the mistake would cost them.

I have a chip on my shoulder. (probably several)

It’s fuels my desire to hone my talents and abilities. It keeps me far from complacent or satisfied. It has created a sense of urgency in my life that is hard to explain.

And – it has created a desire to show those who doubted they made a big mistake.

I’ve been racking my brain to think of people in the scriptures who might have had a chip on their shoulder –
(the great thing about this blog is that a lot of the time I have to spend awhile thinking about the scriptures and how to tie them in to what’s on my mind)

The closest I can come up with is someone like Saul of Tarsus.

“And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord…” (Acts 9:1)

Saul was busy destroying the church.
He was converted and later became a prophet.

There had to have been some people who questioned the sincerity of his conversion.

If it had been me – I would have thought, “dang, I’m gonna have to be SUPER righteous to show everybody that I was sincerely converted.” (of course thoughts like this are why I’ll never be the prophet) haha

Or what about Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah?
Wicked.
Converted.
Prophets.

People must have doubted. They seem like the type that would like to prove the doubters wrong.

A couple questions today because I know my examples were a stretch…

? Can you think of a scripture example that works better than these of someone who had a chip on his/her shoulder?
? Have you ever had a chip on your shoulder?

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