UNPACK this...For NBA Fans

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading


Refs Swallowing Their Whistles 

NBA refs are known to make countless questionable calls during the last two minutes of the game. They always seem to miss calls with fouls, traveling, and crazy out of bounds plays. Interestingly, the NBA league office admits to this, which confirms the belief that refs “swallow their whistles” in crunch time. 

Instead of getting involved in making the right calls, refs seem to choose the “no-call” and let players keep playing. Although being a professional ref must be difficult at the end of a game, nobody wants to see their team lose after a blatant missed call. 

This concept of “swallowing the whistle” or choosing the “no-call” can also creep into our own lives. When we look around our city, nation, and the world there are plenty of opportunities to “blow the whistle.” Instead, we often choose to “swallow our whistle” by not getting involved or trying to make a difference. 

We all witness injustices taking place every day – from the homeless to impoverished children to abused women to countries at war to the moral decay of society. Unfortunately, we have all made excuses for why we can’t reach out and find solutions to these ongoing problems. 

The Bible tells us in Isaiah 1:17 (ESV), “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” Although this strong charge is challenging to address, we must ask ourselves if we’ll continue turning our heads and swallowing our whistles…or if we’ll choose to open our hearts by asking God to move us in ways that create change. 

Today, let’s take a step forward and allow compassion to be the motivating force behind our response to injustice. Let’s seek to do what is right, so we don’t look back on our lives and admit to choosing the “no-call.” I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that! 

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I admit I don't always seek justice and compassion. I’m guilty of being selfish and getting caught up in my own little world. I don’t always like to interfere, so I just turn my head instead. Please break my heart for what breaks Yours. Give me eyes to see what You see and passion to fix what is wrong in the world. Thank you for saving me and loving me the way You do. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

*For more devotionals about sports and faith visit unpackinit.com.