A profound lesson from the NFL

If you enjoy the NFL then you have likely seen or even been a part of the grumbling of the refs this season. It is arguable some of the worst works from refs the world has seen. There is a very interesting trend in the midst of all of this, and it does not center on the refs. It is all about the players.

Read news articles and you will soon hear form the opinions of some of the players. Some begin to make interesting points about how the lack of enforcing penalties will lead to serious injuries because the players will always push the envelope. They will always go just as far as they can without getting into trouble. They will use up as much leash as you will give them.

This observation is incredibly simplistic yet profound. It goes far beyond just football players. As humans we are always trying to push the limits of what we can get away with. Our questions betray this quality in us. “How far is to far physically in my relationship?” “When is too much to drink too much?” “How untruthful can I be before I outright lie?” “How far can I go until I lust?”

We dance along the edge of sin. We go as far as we can without technically breaking any rules. We essentially ignore the spirit of the law. Take these football players as an example. They do not care about the rules of the game being there to ensure fairness and safety for all. They want to do whatever they can to get an edge. They will only obey the law because of its consequences rather than its purpose.

Did you know that God did not make the law in order to just have consequences? The law serves a purpose and not just the logistics of the law, but the spirit of the law as well. It is not simply just a list of rules. The law is a set of guardrails. Picture guardrails on a road. The guardrails are there to protect you from going further off the road and causing some serious damage. However, hitting the guardrails themselves is a pretty bad idea too.

We do that with the law though. We dance along the edge and flirt with it. We don’t take it seriously, and eventually go against the law thus hitting the guardrail. You get hurt. It is painful. You face consequences for hitting the guardrail. You need to pay for your car damage. If you were being reckless you may need to pay a fine. Wouldn’t it have been easier to acknowledge the purpose of the guardrails and keep your distance?

Sometimes we dance along the edge of danger for the thrill, sometimes to prove we are strong, but there is always and underlying reason. We are stating that we have no respect for the danger. When we look to see how close we can get to breaking God’s law without actually doing it then we are showing our lack of respect for God and His standard. We are admitting that we have missed the point. God wants to keep us safe. He wants us to live a full and beneficial life. He wants that life to have purpose. Why would you go off and waste it?

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