The Red Flag


His face flushed red as he shook his head at the referee. He fingered the red flag in his pocket. He weighed the options, grabbed the red flag, hesitated, and finally chucked it on the field.

The red challenge flag. When a football coach disagrees with the referee’s call he can throw a red flag out to have the play reviewed. If the call was confirmed through the replay video, the team who challenged the call loses a timeout, but if the call was overturned then the team keeps its timeout and the result of the play ends in their favor.

In life my kids through challenge flags without thinking of the ramifications. They do not consider consequences or propriety they just want to push against boundaries or choices that they do not like.

Their red flags come in crossed arms, angry words, and temper tantrums.

I throw a few of my own red flags.

What do you mean I have to offer grace to the person who just cut me off?

How do I show love to people it is difficult for me to like or understand?

Forgive?! It is easier to nurse bitterness.

Take care of orphans and widows? I can barely care for my own family.

Bless those who persecute me? I would like to bless them with a slap in the face.

It is as if I want God to reconsider the best way to live. I want Him to make an exception for me. After all, I am exceptional, aren’t I? Don’t answer that.

The law that I am challenging isn’t a law of restrictions, but a law of freedom. Yes freedom. James 1:25 and James 2:12 talk about, “the law that gives freedom.” Isn’t that amazing. God’s law was never meant to restrict us, but to free us.

It frees us to see our sin, it frees us to know how to live without sin, and it frees us to know we need grace because we can never live up to all the law God gave us.

Oh Father God, help us to see Your law as the law that gives freedom–not a law of restriction. Help us to love Your law that we may live in humble obedience to You because of Your grace and love for us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

What do you think about God’s law?