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Posts Tagged ‘referee’

Verse 15: “And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the face of an angel.”

I had to “referee” an intense discussion between two parties recently. Party A was angry and was grilling Party B about his side of a story of a possible misunderstanding. Despite Party A’s very intense intimidation, Party B told the truth, to the satisfaction of all gathered. What struck me about Party B was his face: he stood stoically but respectfully, looking Party A in the eye, and told his side of the story, insisting to us all that it was the truth. It was the quiet confidence that struck me; Party B knew he didn’t have anything to fear as long as he told the truth.

I’ve often wondered when I read this phrase about Stephen standing before the council; they could be a lot more intimidating that Party A. Yet, Stephen, stood before them, quiet, confident, with his defense based on the truth of Jesus Christ. When you stop to think about it for a minute, I’ve never read a record of a “nervous angel”. It could be, because they know whom they serve.

Something to think about.

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Verse 1: “Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted.”

Back in my football officiating days, a veteran referee told the tale of how you can sometimes preventively officiate without having to use your whistle and flag. He was working a junior high game in a line judge role, and saw a linebacker increasingly getting into “extra-curricular” pushing and shoving after the whistle. He knew ahead of time that this kid was a stellar, outstanding student, and probably was getting caught up in the game. So, during the end of a pass play, he barked out his number to get his attention, and said, “Son, cut that out! You’re a better ball-player than that and you know it!” The young man mulled it over a second, apologized to the official, and straightened up the rest of the game. He played well, and didn’t get a flag thrown on him, because my friend called it to his attention before he would have had to reign him in with a penalty. He did with it a gentle reprimand as opposed to the harsh, public scolding a flag and penalty would’ve given. (It should be noted that this doesn’t always work on every kid, but the referee was trying to point out to try this where you could.)

Paul was giving similar advice. We all sin…and sometimes we have a fellow Christian “call us out” on it…but that should be done privately, in Christ-like love and compassion. Only if the brother has hardened his heart to the rebuke do we then escalate the reprimand (and the Bible speaks as to how to do this). Sometimes an instant public “look what he did!” can do more harm than good. Our goal as a fellow Christian is to restore our brother…keep him in the game, as it were, not see him get kicked out.

Something to think about.

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verse 6: “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”

I can’t remember if I have ever mentioned this story, but here goes anyway. Back when I officiated high school football, I had a friend of mine who was a veteran referee, who decided to have a heart-to-heart chat with me while driving to a game. What he had to tell me wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but he gave me some honest criticism on how I was coming across as a know-it-all in meetings (I hadn’t intended to be that, I actually asked a lot of questions wanting to learn.) Though it stung at first, I realized that he was doing it because he was my friend. Once I realized the wisdom in his words, I actually came to value his advice even more and to value his friendship because he had been honest with me.

Contrast the “wounds of a friend” with the “kisses of an enemy”…in my Bible, I had a footnote reference to Matthew 26:49. It’s the verse where Judas betrays Jesus to the soldiers with a kiss. I don’t think I need to even elaborate on that, you get the point.

Sometimes as friends, we have to tell other friends things they don’t want to hear or may not like. However, we wouldn’t be friends who care though, unless we did that. Remember, Jesus is our friend, and yes He does rebuke and correct us when we need it.

Something to think about.

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Proverbs 16:1-2

Happy New Year to all of you! As promised, we’ll start 2011 by picking up with Proverbs 16.

verse 2: “All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the LORD weighs the motives.”

Why do you think most sports have officials? Take football, for instance; why do we have the referee and their officiating crew? What if both sides were to just agree to abide by the rules, not to cheat and not to play dishonestly? Well, that might work for a while…but eventually you would have a situation in which both sides would claim that the effects of a play or action were in their favor, even if one was clearly wrong. It would be up to the referee and the other officials to apply the rules independently, and rule who was in the right and who was in the wrong.

People are like that too. There are leaders in world history, that history shows were clearly in the wrong with their actions. Yet when these leaders were interviewed, they claim they did all that they did…for the right reasons! I know an individual whose actions are more than often questioned, because they are not in the best interest of his family. Yet, he’ll plead that he is the victim in these cases, not the one doing wrong!

God knows us better than we know ourselves; after all, He made us! He will judge our actions and our motives from His perspective, and His ruling will be just and right and final…for He is God. Tis better to seek His counsel on our ways, so that the judgment of them will be in accordance with His will.

Something to think about.

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verse 8: “Do not reprove a scoffer, lest he hate you, Reprove a wise man, and he will love you.”

Back when I use to officiate high school football, we had an away game that took some time to travel to. While most of the crew slept on the trip up to the site, the referee and I had a chat in the front of the van. As it turned out, he had been wanting to give me some advice; I was coming across as a “know-it-all” because of my constant questions during educational classes during our weekly meetings. Now, I truly didn’t mean to come across that way, and at first I felt stung by his constructive criticism. I defended my position as I was truly wanting to learn. He agreed, but pointed out some steps (from experience) that might help me avoid the unwanted reputation I was getting.

I could have taken his criticism in 2 ways. I could’ve continued to argue and eventually dismiss it, thus keeping on the track I was headed down. That is the way of the scoffer; you can’t tell him anything. Now, I am not calling myself wise here, but I did choose the way of the wise (although begrudgingly at first 🙂 ). I tried my friend’s advice and found that, he was right; if I listened more than I talked, it was amazing what I began to pick up. Although this friend and I have “butted heads” before on officiating discussions, I knew where he and I stood with each other. I knew I could talk to him, and he could talk to me, and we could keep things open between us. I later told him that I was grateful for the friend he was to me; he returned the compliment.

The day you stop learning or trying to learn is the day you began to slide toward the way of the scoffer. The wise always want to increase in wisdom, and will love you for the times you help to “correct” their path.

Something to think about.

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