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10 Reasons we all get a red card from Christ

Or…

'What the church can learn from church soccer'

Number 1

You think sin on the soccer field is just 'boys will be boys' and 'yep we got a little heated didn't we' ...not something that condemned My world to trauma and put Me on a bloody execution device. 

Number 2

You think 'stupid decision f-ing Ref' and 'f-ing hell mate' are ok in the heat of the game because its 'the heat of the game'. I don't. What you are in the heat of the game is what you are. 

Number 3

You are quietly satisfied when the referee doesn't notice your fault because you quickly play-on or yell or self-righteously indignate or embellish or deny or self-justify. 

I want you to know 

I notice. 

Number 4

You condemn with venom the ref who makes a mistake or a bad call. He gets paid a pittance, volunteers his time, tries his hardest and for his efforts gets abused by 'church' people in the 'church' soccer league. Shame on you. And, because you bear my name

tragically, 

shame on Me...

Number 5

You're so 'christian' when you are winning. You're patient with the referee and with each other, you congratulate each other, encourage each other, hug each other and smile a lot. Well done. I made people to worship in their playing. I'm glad you enjoy it 

but….

When the game is tight and you're losing you yell at each other, swear, curse, shove, push, abuse and do other hateful things. And all the while outsiders watch this in your 'church' soccer league. Show me where the church is in all this. Either that or stop calling it 'church soccer'. There's no 'church' here. 

Number 6

You think the competition could be run better. You wish the lines weren't marked at the last minute and that the planner had come out earlier. The comp is run by imperfect people with a call from me and heart to serve who have families, jobs, schedules just like you. And you then criticise in your heart. All you have to do is show up and most of the time you show up late. 

Stop criticising and start helping. 

Number 7

You think it's gracious to ignore the sins of the soccer field. It's not. Grace is severe as well as kind. It involved my torture and death. It involved me being brutalised for you. I didn't die and give you the most powerful being in the universe - my Holy Spirit - so you could curse, yell, rage and shame yourself and your church.  I died so that you would repent, change, grow, mature and glow like a city of light. Stop with the sin-stink: you are more like a city of sewers than a city of light when you sin. 

Number 8

You think grace is just a cream for our sin-wounds, It's not. My grace flows from my fierce holiness. It's a consuming fire, a scalpel as well as a balm. I'm not mocked. I'm not your granddaddy in the sky, I'm the Holy God and so is my Father and so is my Spirit. Put away your childish ideas of grace and grow up. 

Number 9

You think you are not responsible for unchurched when they act like you in your soccer sins. You are. You wear my name. You even call this comp a church comp. Are you salt or not? Are you the culture setters? Are you atmosphere changers? You want to change the world. Start here. Show them you hate this part of yourself. Show them you hate sin as much as I do. Show them that though you aren't perfect you know how to repent and love, Show them grown-up grace. Maybe then you'll actually be able to see clearly to help them.

Number 10

You pray at the beginning of a game. You thank me for the opportunity to play, for the day, for each other. Well done. But that is a child's prayer. I would like you to pray like a grown up. I would like you to pray for the power of my precious Holy Spirit to fill your hearts with burning love for Me, for my soccer teams and for my referees. I would like you to pray for my ferociously powerful Holy Spirit to discipline and teach and change you from the heart outwards. I would like you to pray for soccer-field love, for soccer-field joy and for all the other Spirit characteristics ...on the soccer field. 

For these ten things I've given you a red card. You've shown me either in your heart or on your face or with your words you deserve it. You certainly don't deserve the joy I programmed into soccer.

So here it is…

But know this. 

My red card is not like the red card of the world. The red card of the world symbolise serious offence, expulsion and personal embarrassment. It symbolises both penalty and offence…on you. But that's all the red card of the world symbolises...

 My red card is much more. Yes it symbolises penalty and offence but the red in my red card is my own blood. My red card symbolises the offence, the penalty AND the payment in one. My red card covers your shame because I was naked and shamed on a bloody execution device two thousand years ago. My red card is freely given so that you don't have to be ejected from the game. 

You can play on.

So I freely give you my red card. Don't waste it. 



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