UNPACK this

Blowing the Whistle

Published on March 3, 2017 | By
The NBA recently announced they are making some changes and putting an emphasis on improving the league’s referees. They are launching an Officiating Advisory Council and adding more available refs, while increasing reviews and evaluations of their work. It’s good to hear the league is placing great value on their refs.   Even though as basketball fans we love to complain about refs, and yell at them during games when they make bad calls, we know they’re needed. We realize they bring order and authority to the game by calling out players who make mistakes and blowing their whistle when the ball goes out of bounds. Without refs to call fouls and hold players accountable to the rules of the game (instead of doing whatever they want on the court), teams would have a difficult time performing at their best. Ideally, refs are unbiased and stick to the standards in place so the game can stay on track. They’re responsible for keeping their eyes on the players to let them know when a rule has been broken, while the players are trusting them to make the right calls for a successful game. Crazy as it may sound, we should desire having active “refs” in our own lives. As we follow Jesus and discover the life He wants us to live, having someone run alongside us “blowing the whistle” when we step out of bounds or get off track is crucial. If we want to live a life of obedience and honor God’s Word, people pointing out concerns and holding us accountable in love and humility is extremely valuable. Unfortunately, most of us push against this concept because we have the wrong perspective or people have acted with the wrong motives toward us in the past. But if we really want to hold ourselves to a higher standard and stick to the boundaries God has given us, we will welcome being called out...and being steered toward the cross of Christ where His grace is found. The Bible says in Galatians 6:1 (NLT), "Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself." As the family of God, we are in this together - helping one another grow and mature, and pursuing a deeper understanding of how to follow Jesus on the right path. It takes humility, gentleness, and grace, as well as, awareness to the temptations that surround us. None of us have all the answers, but don't you feel loved when someone keeps a thoughtful eye on you? Today, let’s consider our responsibility as a “ref” to others and evaluate our need to have someone “blowing the whistle” in our own lives. Let’s allow trustworthy people to “make the call” when they need to, in order to help us get back on track...while resting in God’s grace. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that! PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I pray I would have the right perspective on accountability and being called out by people who I trust and respect. Help me be a humble and grace-filled friend, as I help others get back on track as well. Thanks for the grace You always show us. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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