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We were having our pre-service workers meeting last Sunday and I asked our team who they thought has been the best player in the ongoing FIFA 2018 World Cup. The first name I heard was Ahmed Musa; of course, Nigerians can be very patriotic. Most of the folks mentioned Ronaldo, and many other names echoed in the meeting room. Then I asked them this simple question – who is the best referee so far in the 2018 FIFA World Cup? Expectedly, there was a dead silence. And they are not alone in this; most people in the world watching the games rarely know the names of the referees, talk less of the best referee. And today I want us to learn a lesson from this.

There is a worrisome trend among believers we must eliminate immediately. Many believers today major on running about with whistles in their hands and red/yellow cards in their pockets; their FOCUS is on analysing, accusing and attacking other believers and their ministries. We appear to be raising more referees than players, unfortunately, no referee or team of referees has ever won the World Cup.

If you have a spiritual insight that other believers do not have, you should consider it a great privilege. Don’t run them down. Pray for them and consider the best way to pass the truth in love, while being mindful that it is the truth that saves and not the knowledge of error. This name-calling and denigration of believers and Christian leaders under the guise that Apostle Paul rebuked Peter openly cannot qualify as a doctrine, if we truly understand how doctrines are established.

It may be difficult to listen to a one-hour ministration by any preacher or believer today and immediately agree 100% with everything they say. This should be expected because you both did not get born again the same day and even if you did, you are not growing at the same rate. So at any point in time, one will likely have more insights than the other. But your spiritual insight is not a means to show off or raise a red/yellow card. Soldiers ought not to be fighting among themselves in the barracks even though they all have different levels of ranks; they rather train for the purpose of decimating the enemy. Our focus as the army of Christ should be on growing and equipping the saints with the truth so that we sustain the work of the great commission. You cannot reduce your ministry to that of an accuser of the brethren like the devil. You are called to be the reconciler of the lost.

How do you know if you are a player or a referee in the field of play? What tendencies do you see in a spiritual referee? First, there will be a big gap between what you claim to know, and what you live or exhibit daily, just as a referee can tell you when a goal is scored but never scores any goal. Secondly, when you read or listen to any message, there is always something to learn but you will rather focus on what was not said well or who did not say it well. You have turned the social media platforms to your turf and you show no restraint in blowing your whistle without restraint. Unfortunately, referees don’t win the golden trophy.

Beloved, I’m not saying we don’t need referees in the midst but it’s time to get into the field of play as a player … for we have too many referees already and if God has not called you specifically to be one, please keep your FOCUS on playing in the FIELD OF SOULS. If we assess from social media alone, the current ratio of referees to players is alarming and devilish. Although there may be wolves in the midst, just as Judas Iscariot was with Jesus, there are biblical ways to handle such persons (and I would write about that in a future post). This doesn’t mean you should immediately receive a call to the ministry of referees, and spend the rest of your life there. Interestingly, we know from scriptures that heaven celebrates when souls are won, but we should study hard to also know how heaven reacts to “the referees’ yellow and/or red card”.

As a minister of reconciliation, our God is counting on you and he will also judge you based on how you use your time on earth. There is no time to waste; it is estimated that there are over 2 billion people yet to be reached with the gospel. We cannot spend all our time blowing the whistle and issuing red/yellow cards when we should be kicking the ball of the great commission. By the way, how many souls have been won to the kingdom through you this month/year? It’s time to refocus.

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