NFL franchises are still in the process of hiring and firing coaches. We’ve seen the Raiders bring back Jon Gruden, while teams like the Giants, Colts, and Lions are still searching for the right guy to lead their team.

An underlying element to the coaching carousel is the requirement for organizations to comply with the Rooney Rule, which states teams must interview at least one minority for any head coaching vacancy.

Although teams appear to have followed this rule over the years with some positive results, concerns have been raised about the legitimacy of many of the interviews.

If an owner is already set on a specific head coach who is not a minority, he still goes through the motions of bringing in other candidates. In other words, interviews are only set out of obligation instead of a genuine interest in the minority coach.

It’s commonplace to hear reports that a team took care of the Rooney Rule, but the reality is, the franchise already had a coach picked out before the interviews began.

Ultimately, there are still benefits in having the rule (while also needing some tweaking), but I struggle in knowing teams are just offering “lip service” and “going through the motions.”

It should be more about the spirit and heart behind the Rooney Rule, but too many teams just “appear” to embrace the rule, and are not being authentic about it.

Unfortunately, this same kind of struggle can happen in our own lives. God gives us His Word to live by and obey, but sometimes we just go through the motions of doing what we think we should. We end up following His ways out of obligation instead of a deep and abiding love for Him.

There is a spirit and heart behind all of God’s commands, and they are there for our good and His purposes. However, He knows our motives and whether or not we are genuinely following Him…or just appearing to give “lip service.”

We can easily fall into a pattern of acting religious, by checking off boxes for what we think is required each day, but totally missing the authentic life of faith Jesus has invited us into.

It’s important to remember that God wants us to live in a spirit of freedom – with a true love for Him and His Word. He is actually way more concerned about our heart than our actions on the surface.

Proverbs 21:2 (ESV) tells us, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.”

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:11-12 (AMP): “Therefore, since we know the fear of the Lord [and understand the importance of obedience and worship], we persuade people [to be reconciled to Him]. But we are plainly known to God [He knows everything about us]; and I hope that we are plainly known also in your consciences [your God-given discernment].

“We are not commending ourselves to you again, but are giving you an occasion to be [rightfully] proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in [outward] appearances [the virtues they pretend to have] rather than what is [actually] in heart.”

Today, let’s ask ourselves why we follow Jesus. Let’s consider if we’re just going through the motions with the outward appearance of faith…or if we’re filled with a love for God that is genuinely committed to serving Him from our heart.

I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I desire to obey You and have a heart that is aligned with You. I want to follow Jesus because He saved me and has given me new life. I pray I wouldn’t just go through the motions, but rather be spirit-led. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.