A Crisis of Disrespect

June 5, 2023

“ Let every person be subject to the governing authorities,
for there is no authority except from God,
and those that exist have been instituted by God.”
– Romans 13:1 (ESV)

If you have been around sports very long, odds are you have had a difference of opinion with a coach or referee. It is a well known fact that the increasing confrontation with coaches and sports officials makes it harder than ever to fill these positions. We see the abuses on every level of sports, but it is getting worse in youth sports each year. Most of these leagues and schools depend on volunteers or provide small monetary benefits that do not come close to compensating for time and travel. If you ask why they do it, most will say they love the game and enjoy working with young people. To be very clear, it is alright to disagree with the decisions of coaches and referees. Disagreement is not wrong, but how we react based on our opinions can get us in trouble. So as a Christian, how should we respond in these moments?

First, God calls us to make it a private matter. In Matthew 18:15 Jesus says, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.” To argue with a coach or referee during a game when emotions are high will only lead to foolish actions and words that you can not take back. A better response would be to wait until after the game, approach the authority you are in conflict with and have a conversation about the issue. Find the root of your disagreement. Is selfish pride at the core of your frustration? When the coach decides not to start your son or daughter, is your pride wounded? When the official misses a call that impacts your son or daughter, do you take it personally? Living for God calls us to live with a spirit of humility. In James 4:6 we find that, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. If you let humility be the root of your opinions, you may be surprised to find that what you agree and disagree with can change. As Christians we are called to a higher standard, we must choose to respond with maturity, wisdom and grace.

Heavenly Father, thank You for those who give of there time to serve others. Keep me humble in times of disagreement. Take away my prideful heart. In Jesus name, Amen. 

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