Referee Ed Hochuli is one of the most accurate referees in the game of pro-football. In September of 2008 he made one of those calls that would be talked about for weeks. Steve May recounts it: “…in the final minutes of a game between the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers… Denver quarterback Jay Cutler fumbled the ball, Hochuli blew the whistle and called it an incomplete pass. He knew it was a mistake the minute he made it, but there was nothing he could do; an inadvertent whistle is a non-reviewable, non-reversible call. Instead of San Diego getting the ball, Denver was allowed to keep it. They scored a couple of plays later and won the game. Needless to say, the San Diego fans were furious. They all but called for Ed Hochuli’s head on a platter. Many wanted him fired and banned forever from the NFL. His office in Phoenix was flooded with angry calls. His Blackberry was jammed with angry emails.”
Here is the interesting part. Ed was the first person to admit his mistake. He apologized on the sideline to San Diego coach Norv Turner. Ed then confessed it publically to the San Diego Union-Tribune that week, saying: “Affecting the outcome of a game is a devastating feeling. Officials strive for perfection — I failed miserably.” He then, in an extraordinary next step, he responded to each of those angry emails, one by one.
He won over the hearts of many of the fans. His response surprised many, but Ed didn’t think what he did was that surprising. He messed up and he was the first to apologize.
When we mess up it is important to confess to those around us that we have hurt. If you are like me you have made a few bad calls in life that has affected the outcome of somebody’s game. It is important to confess our wrong to them, but it is also important that we confess to the Coach… God Almighty. He alone is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us. Now it has to be an honest confession.
John Ortberg once wrote: At the heart of it, confession involves taking appropriate responsibility for what we have done. This is not easy to do. We try to slip out of it. What starts as a confession often ends up an excuse: “I didn’t mean to yell at you; I was having a bad day.” To confess means to own up to the fact that our behavior wsn’t just the result of bad parenting, poor genes, jealous siblings, or a chemical imbalance from too many Twinkies. Any or all of those factors may be involved. Human behavior is a complex thing. But confession means saying that somewhere in the mix was a choice, and the choice was made by us, and it does not need to be excused, explained, or even understood. The choice needs to be forgiven. The slate has to be wiped clean. (The Life You’ve Always Wanted, p. 124.)
Smudged from the mire of your deliberate sin? Confess it to God… Confess and Come Clean!