The Carolina Panthers were embarrassed on national TV last night with a 40-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. As a fan of the team, it was brutal to see. Displaying

Their season keeps getting worse, but I can’t believe one of the main discussions today includes the word “outfit.” Last year’s MVP, Cam Newton, didn’t start the game because he violated a team rule by not wearing a tie.

Everyone watching was totally thrown off when Newton was standing on the sidelines while his backup, Derek Anderson, threw an interception on the first play.

The whole situation is pretty bizarre, and the debate will continue as to whether or not Newton should have been punished for not wearing the appropriate “outfit,” and if Rivera should be criticized for the rule to begin with.

Either way, as silly as the whole situation sounds, I appreciate a coach disciplining his players when he needs to. Newton was actually very respectful during his postgame press conference and made the comment, “Coach has rules in place and we have to abide by them.”

Nobody likes to be disciplined, and in the moment it may seem unnecessary or even too painful. But when we look a little deeper, and from God’s perspective, there is great value when discipline comes from a place of love.

The Bible says in Hebrews 12:5-7 (NLT), “And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as His children? He said, ‘My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when He corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as His child.

‘As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?'”

Verse 10 continues with, “For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in His holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”

Cam Newton, Ron Rivera, and Panthers fans didn’t like the way the game started or ended last night, but I’m counting on growth taking place because of the discipline that was implemented.

In our own lives, I hope we realize that God has “rules” in place for our own good and His discipline comes from a place of profound love. (And we can be thankful He doesn’t ask us to wear a tie!)

I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I pray that I would have a better perspective on discipline. I want to understand the loving hand You have on my life, and the importance You place on helping me grow in holiness. I pray I wouldn’t resist discipline, but continue to have the desire to seek You and obey Your ways. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.