At the time, they had a 10-0 lead. The field goal put them up 13-0. But the ensuing drive by their opponents, the Houston Texans, resulted in a field goal as well. The upshot of all of this is that the game should have been 17-0; but quickly changed to 13-3 instead.
And that is not the end of it. On the last play of the half, with only one second left on the clock, a classic 42 yard “Hail Mary” long bomb was pulled off by the Texans, completing a 95 yard drive for a touchdown. So, rather than 17-0 at half, as it was so close to being, the score was suddenly 13-10. And it was all arguably due to the pivotal call when unsportsmanlike conduct was called.
Now, who was the culprit? Which player goofed and invited the game-changing 15 yard penalty? The answer: none of them. Rather, of all people, the foul was called on the Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts!
One might conceivably understand if a player, caught up in the passion of the moment, perhaps became a little overzealous and acted in an unsportsmanlike manner. But not the Head Coach! He, above all people on the field of play, should know better.
Especially when he had already been warned once to get back inside the coach’s box! But rather than do so, he ignored the admonition and strode brazenly back down to the ten yard line a second time! When he did, Voila! The yellow flag flew! And in the end, it was his team who paid the price.
The Bible reminds us that leaders are held to a higher standard. In the New Testament Book of James (chapter 3, verse 1), we are admonished by the Apostle: “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”
Translation: coaches, like teachers, and yes, pastors, should be careful so as not to cost their teams, pupils, and/or congregants. Simply put: leaders are understandably held to a higher standard. And well they should be; for very often they are not only the face, but also the heart and soul of a given organization. And by their influence, many others are impacted.
The Indianapolis Colts did eventually go on to win the game. But it is arguable that they did so under unnecessary stress. The church will inevitably win out. The Bible promises that. But woe be unto those who cause her undue stress in the process.
It is one thing for a player to be flagged for a penalty. It is quite another for a coach to be. And the same is true in the church. For this reason, I ask you to pray for me and for all Ministers of the Gospel everywhere. Satan knows that if he can take one of us down, the whole church will suffer and stumble. May we be especially prudent and diligent; and may we not fall prey to his shenanigans in the process.