So I’m sure everyone has heard the news about the replacement refs that were in the NFL for the first 3 of the season. These guys caught so much flack for the job that they did (Now it was much deserved). I watched a few of the games in the first few weeks and saw that these guys were not very good (at least in terms of reffing professional football. These guys need some kind of class and maybe they could have done a better job. They missed calls, called the wrong thing, and overall just angered people so bad that the people wanted to physically hurt the refs. Coaches got fined for their interactions with the refs and players were getting in too many scuffles on the field. The refs were losing control of the games and could not get it back. They even tried to decide a couple close games and may have even gotten those calls wrong. These refs were just overall a bad idea.
So if you have no clue what I am talking here is a little back story. Earlier this summer the regular referees of the NFL were locked out as they needed a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Now the NFL did not want to lose any games over this so they brought in replacement refs to do their job until a deal could be reached with the regular referees.
Now while the refs did in fact do a bad job at managing and refing the games I feel that people might have dropped down to hard on them. Imagine this. You are a well established High School Referee and all the sudden you get a call from a representative of the NFL and they tell you that you are going to be standing in as a referee for a few weeks until they can resolve a matter with the regular referees. Now you have never reffed an NFL game and sure you have watched it on TV with all those cool angles that allow you to see every penalty, but now you are on the field at a new angle trying to pick apart teams and keep a game under control. You really have no experience with this. Do you really think these refs deserve the ridicule that we gave them.
In the Bible Jesus teaches about forgiveness and what it means to forgive and how we need to always be forgiving others for their misdeeds. The gospel of Mark puts it into great perspective for us:
And whenever you stand up to pray, if you have something against anyone, forgive so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your wrongdoings.” Mark 11:25 CEB
Now holding a grudge against a replacement referee may not seem like that big of a deal, but to God anger towards another human is the sign of an unforgiving heart. We must always be willing to forgive people as God has forgiven us through Christ. God does not want us to come to him with our anger built up and boiling in our blood. God wants us to forgive others there wrongdoings and allow ourselves to move past it. If we can’t do that much how do we expect God to forgive us of all that we have done wrong.
While the replacement refs are a big scale example I feel as though they are a good example nonetheless because it is a point in my life where I built up much anger and bitterness towards a person. I was so enraged with the way the referees handled the games. However, as I look back now that the regular officials are back I think how badly I handled that situation and realized that I should have forgiven them for their mistakes and moved past it. Often times we get so caught up in our current society that we forget that it is God that we are praising and we allow little things of the earth to control us. We need to remember that while it is tough we need to forgive others in order for God to forgive us.