UNPACK this

Concealing Concussions

Published on May 25, 2017 | By

The NFL concussion issue continues to be at the forefront of conversations surrounding the game. How do we keep players safe? What age should kids start playing? At what point should players be allowed back in after suffering one?  Now, the latest discussion has centered around the lack of willingness players have in admitting when they actually have a concussion. It’s clear they do what's necessary to hide the effects, so they can keep on playing.

We know there is a lot on the line for NFL players, and any missed time can cost them money or wins for their team. Their shortsighted perspective causes them to ignore the damage that is being done, and conceal any indication of having a concussion. They rely on their toughness to keep going and hide any of the pain.

This topic has blown up even more after Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele, revealed in a TV interview that her husband “does have concussions” even though there are no records of it. Brady has hidden this truth from many people and has continued to play. Now he has to consider if he needs to try harder to keep the secret from his wife, as well.

Columnist Sally Jenkins, from The Washington Post, wrote an article with the headline: “If Tom Brady Wanted To Show Real Toughness, He’d Admit He Did Something Dumb.” Her story urges NFL players to set the tone of honesty and transparency when it comes to acknowledging the poor decision of playing through a concussion.

This is a very complicated situation, as we know the dangers and “importance” of the game of football. Thankfully, most of us don't have to decide every day whether or not we play through a concussion or admit that we have one. However, we can all relate to the concept of concealing and transparency, and having the choice to confess our sin and admit to mistakes that we make.

Our initial response is to hide or keep our transgressions in the dark. We don’t want anyone to know what we’re struggling with or concede to having a problem. Unfortunately, like a concussion, the damage gets worse the longer we “play through it" without getting the proper treatment and taking the necessary steps to healing.

Proverbs, the book of wisdom, puts it this way in verse 28:13 (NLT): "People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy."

Sometimes we think we are sneaky enough to have everyone fooled because we’ve hidden something about ourselves so well. However, I believe God knows all, sees all, and judges all while also offering grace and forgiveness. Ecclesiastes 12:14(NLT) says, "God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad."

God knows the truth in our hearts, so we can come before Him with great honesty and receive the strength we need to confess to others. In the long run, it’s exhausting to live a lie and hide our struggles and secrets. As difficult as it is to admit our faults, today let's allow the process of revealing to bring us tremendous healing. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please give me the strength to be honest with You, myself, and others when I face struggles or make mistakes. I pray that I wouldn't just try to be tough and pretend I have it all together. Please show me when and how to confess my sin, so that I can experience healing. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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