The off-season drama has already begun in the NFL, as Patriots’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels decided to stay in New England instead of become the head coach in Indianapolis.

The Colts were all set to sign the contract with McDaniels after the Super Bowl, but at the last minute he changed his mind and told the Colts’ GM he was out.

This decision has garnered criticism and debate, and former Colts’ head coach Tony Dungy made this bold comment: “I can tell you there is NO excuse big enough to justify this. It’s one thing to go back on your word to an organization. But having assistant coaches leave jobs to go with you then leave them out to dry is indefensible.

“You make those decisions before you say I Do. Don’t get married, start a family then say I changed my mind. He didn’t sign the contract but he said I Do. That is common decency and integrity. You don’t do that to the families of your peers.”

McDaniels ultimately made a decision that he feels was best for him and his family. Unfortunately, he had given his word, people planned accordingly, and then he changed his mind.

I think it’s fair to question McDaniels and call him out for putting himself and others in an unfavorable position. At the same time, circumstances do change, decisions are re-evaluated, new information is presented, and tough choices must be made.

Nobody likes when this happens and grace is required when it does. But, we must all do our best to avoid getting too deep into a situation where we have to back out like this.

McDaniels’ coaching situation should remind us of how it important it is to strive to live our own lives with integrity, while making decisions without wavering.

We can be confident about keeping our word and commitments when we seek God in prayer because He gives us wisdom and clarity for all of the decisions we need to make. As we follow Him in obedience, He helps our lives reflect integrity, so that our word and actions match up.

When we’re honest with ourselves and others, we can put an end to empty promises and good intentions with no follow through. Let’s not say we’ll do something, just to back out later.

Even with commitments like “We’ll have you over for dinner” or “I’ll call you this week,” we must be reliable in making sure it happens, so others can count on us.

Today, let’s all be challenged to live out the committed life we are commanded in Matthew 5:33-37 (The Message paraphrase):

“And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.”

I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I’m guilty of saying one thing and not following through. I confess it’s easy to say what someone wants to hear and not really mean it. I pray you’d change my heart, so I can be honest and reliable to live up to my word. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.