We watch the NFL for fun and entertainment each week. We root for our favorite teams and celebrate when players score touchdowns. However, even though we are encouraged to go crazy as fans, over the last few years the NFL has become known as the “No Fun League” because of the limits they’ve placed on players.  

With its strict rules on players celebrating in the end zone, last season there were 29 penalties called for unsportsmanlike conduct during touchdown celebrations. 

But surprisingly, yesterday the NFL announced they will be loosening up and relaxing their celebration rules.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said to fans, “We know that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown, and players have told us they want more freedom to be able to express themselves and celebrate their athletic achievements.” 

I agree that fans enjoy seeing “spontaneous displays of emotion,” as well as experiencing their own…with high-fiving or hugging after big touchdowns. Everyone wants to have the opportunity to express their excitement. 

This is a big step for the NFL to lighten up, and I’m anxious to see how players will respond during the upcoming season. 

As I think about football and life, I realize we were all designed and created to celebrate, worship, and cheer. It’s great to be filled with joy and excitement, but sometimes our desire for worship ends up being misguided and directed toward ourselves…instead of the God who created us.

We get caught up praising creation more than the creator, and celebrating each other over the Provider and Source of life strengthening us. 

As followers of Jesus, we should live a life of worship, joy and cheer, but instead of making it all about our own accomplishments, we must remain aware of the work God is doing through us that causes us to celebrate. When we point our praise toward Him, this leads to genuine worship. As a result, our awe is put in its proper place. 

Today as we think about the “No Fun League” loosening up, and realizing the importance of freedom in expressing joy and the spontaneity in our displays of emotion, let’s stop being so stiff when it comes to our worship and the celebrating of our all-powerful and loving God. 

Let’s be encouraged by Psalm 150:1-6 (NLT): “Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heaven! Praise Him for His mighty works; praise His unequaled greatness! Praise Him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise Him with the lyre and harp!

“Praise Him with the tambourine and dancing; praise Him with strings and flutes! Praise Him with a clash of cymbals; praise Him with loud clanging cymbals. Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord!” 

I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I pray that I would be filled with joy and awe as I praise You and worship You above all else. You are worthy to be honored and glorified. I pray I would enjoy life and have fun celebrating Your goodness and the blessings that come from You. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.