Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Think and Act 9.10.14 – About Ray Rice

So, unless you live under a rock, you probably have heard of Ray Rice. His 10 minutes of infamy have sparked a strong reaction to the violence he perpetrated against his fiance (now his wife). Now his  actions have forced the NFL to change policy and have stirred a much larger conversation about domestic violence.

I am not a sports commentator nor a legal analyst. I’m a pastor, and in that vein I’d like to offer a few thoughts about processing lightning rod cases like this.

1. I’m glad people are reacting to something based on morality.

We live in a morally confused culture. To hear unified disgust and outrage in response to a video of a physically superior male athlete punching a woman is an encouraging response.

At least people think something is wrong – and yes, without any doubt, I think what Ray Rice did was terribly wrong.

2. There are lessons for leaders here.

Multiple leaders have confessed they did not do enough. Originally it was only made known that he had struck her. Then when the video of the event came out, leaders in the NFL changed their stance and response.

Leaders should a) work hard to get facts, regardless of whether they like someone caught in an investigation and b) act on conviction regardless of whether they have video evidence.

To summarize a quote by Herm Edwards: Why do we need to see the video? This is what domestic violence looks like.


3. Ray Rice is no more evil than you or me. Pray for him.

The last super negative response to a crime in the NFL I can remember was Michael Vick. Vick ran a dog fighting scheme and was vilified from many angles. There is some evidence that he turned his life around and faith was involved. He made a return to football.

Can we hope for any different outcome for Ray Rice? Certainly he deserves to suffer the consequences personally, legally, and professionally. The punishment should fit the crime, even if that means he’s not employable as a football player.

But as a believer I encourage you to believe that the grace of God is way bigger than the sin Ray Rice committed. His sin is NOT bigger in God’s eyes than our sin – all of them make us hell-bound minus the grace we find at the cross of Jesus. We should pray for those close to him, and that a pastor or other believer could be used in a mighty way to help him understand hope, forgiveness, and a transformed life. I’m praying for nothing less than his salvation – that he would repent of his sin and believe in Jesus to lead

Think. Do you judge the sin of others more harshly than you judge your own sin?

Act. Filter others’ sin through the same lens as your own. Speak with truth and conviction regarding morality, but never close the door on the possibility of God’s grace doing its work.

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