Rome, Moss, and James

On Monday Night Football this week, wide receiver Randy Moss had few if any balls thrown to him. He had no catches, and you had to think that something was wrong for a pro-bowl receiver to receive this little attention. And something was. Not long afterward, he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings, the place where he began his professional career.
Sports talk radio host Jim Rome had some interesting thoughts on this trade the day it went down. Moss, in the last year of his contract, instead of playing hard, just complained about not having a new deal. That is not the right way to go about things, particularly with this football team. While I can’t stand New England as a team, I completely respect their philosophy: if players put themselves first, they get the boot. 
So they traded Moss. Rome’s problem with the Moss trade is that they basically rewarded him, shipping him off to Minnesota with Brett Favre. They didn’t send him to Tampa, Detroit, Oakland, or a team which has little hope of winning. They sent him to a very likely contender, to the very place he has already become familiar, and to a place which is known for paying their players handsomely.
Rome’s take was that he did everything wrong, and got rewarded! Why did he do it this way? Because he could. He could get away with it, so why not gripe and whine and complain while making millions of dollars playing a game? He got what he wanted, so why not do it again? Why shouldn’t others follow his example?
It reminded me of a passage I had recently read while studying James. The passage is actually not directed to the reader, but to the rich, unjust, unmerciful, exploitative unbeliever. There will literally be hell to pay (unless of course, there is genuine repentance) for such folk. While it seems like such folks simply do what they do because they “can,” there will literally be a hell of a judgment.

And this is important. If you don’t have this framework, you will become overly cynical and hopeless, or will want to take judgment into your own hands. We need a judge to forgive our sins, but we also need one who will punish wickedness. We should be thankful for both, and never sacrifice one at the altar of the other.

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