A Letter from Paul to the Officials
I, Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, and called to be an apostle, send greetings to my friends, the officials! I respect the difficult job all of you have, and the heavy responsibility you bear in each game. Believe me, I can relate to delivering unpopular messages to different crowds of people, and then end up taking abuse and being persecuted for it. In my 2nd letter to the Corinthians I talk about embracing this suffering, because in times of calamity, this is when I depended on God’s strength and mercy the most. I told them, ""Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong”. I urge you Officials to be strong in your suffering. And like I told the Romans, “Bless those who persecute you. Bless and do not curse.” This applies to the players, coaches, fans, and even management. The next time you think, “F- him”, replace the traditional meaning of “F” to now stand for “Forgive”. Change the culture, and let the change begin with you.
Now, onto pressing matters…it has been brought to my attention that just like the Corinthians, 'There are quarrels among you’. Officials have always argued over rules, and sometimes need rules clarifications, so allow me to clarify. And I know some of you are obsessed with the citations, so I’ll include those too.
Let’s talk judgment. Officials pride themselves in their judgment. The problem comes when they extend their judgment beyond where it belongs, which is the legality of the game, and start applying it towards judging other people. I was pretty clear in Romans (14:13) “Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.” You see, judgment leads to gossip. I told the Ephesians (4:29) “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” The next time you find yourself in the middle of gossip, look to build people up instead of tearing them down. Quit trying to hinder people. Change the culture, and let the change begin with you.
Now let’s talk about the coveting of one another’s status and schedule. The Galatians had the same problem. I said in (5:26) “Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” Officials need to realize that they are in this noble profession and avocation together! Here are multiple citations for you: Romans (12:15) “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
1 Corinthians (12:26) “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” Start looking at things collectively. Stop the selfishness. Change the culture, and let the change begin with you.
Now I want to address stories of extracurricular activities after games, and I’m not talking about video breakdown. From my letter to the Romans (13:13-14) I said, “Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.” Officiating is indeed a fraternity, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be Animal House. Change the culture, and let the change begin with you.
I know I have given you a lot of things to accomplish, but remember Romans (8:31)... “What then shall we say in response to these things? If God is with us, who can be against us?” God is with you, and as I shared with the Philippians in (4:13)…”I can do all things through HIM who strengthens me.”
P.S. I will address the reports of less than accurate expense records, as well as a list of various things reported missing from locker rooms across the country in my next letter…
*Written and Created By Pat Fraher for the use by Sport Officials everywhere*