July 13 – United: Country – Romans 13

Read Romans 13:1-7

High school sports are a lot like life. As high school football officials (“refs”), we try to set an example of respect and honor to players and coaches well before the kick-off.

It starts with a reminder letter to the school Athletic Director a week before the Friday night home game with information about the five of us, where we are from, and that we would be arriving two hours before the game begins. The Bible says to “Honor one another above yourselves.”

(Romans 12:10b).

We arrive at the school’s football field around 5:00 for the 7:00 PM game, wearing a shirt and tie, which sets the tone for respect. We want to be an example of respecting authority (Romans 13:1). Sometimes we fail. But we keep trying.

How do you go about being an example of respecting authority?

We meet with each head coach about 90 minutes before the game. We want to be servants so the players can play and the coach can coach in a hardworking and respectful game. We remind the head coach of the value of sportsmanship, asking everyone to RESPECT THE GAME. This means to respect what you are doing. Honor others. Isn’t that part of loving your neighbor as yourself (Romans 13:9)?

Can you think of creative ways that you can honor people that you know?

Coaches agree with us on the value of sportsmanship. He or she sets the example for the players and fans. We need more people to be role models for kids and demonstrate what respect for others is.

Honoring the participants before the game helps the game be respectful.  But there are times where the participants disrespect their opponents and we penalize or eject players from the game as a result. Just like life. Sometimes people in life are disrespectful and they lose friends or a job because of it.

Are you patient and gentle to others? Try to maintain your composure when people persecute you (Romans 12:14).

Once the game starts you never know what is going to happen. That is a challenge and the fun of it.

Just like life.

How does Jesus give you opportunities to show respect and honor for others?

Tom Weckesser

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