I preached a sermon Sunday in which I mentioned how discouraged I am over people’s obsession with sports, how completely irrational and destructive behavior is permitted and even bragged about because of “team loyalty.”  Just an hour or two later, in a (probably) unrelated incident, Mark Wahlberg walked out on his beloved Patriots at the Super Bowl (they were behind 28-12 at the time) and began receiving an unceasing stream of vitriol from other fans.   

The next day, Wahlberg posted on Instagram how he had to leave because his younger son was ill.  (He brought the entire family to the game.  Apparently, four Super Bowl tickets are not outrageously expensive and impossible to come by when you are a big movie star.)  So you would think that would shut down the trolls.  But noooooooo!  People accused him of making the excuse up, or said he should have stayed and sent the kid home with Mommy.  Bad fan, Mark!  Bad fan! 

My point is not that people should accept Mark Wahlberg at his word, although that would be a good point.  My point is, who cares?  Why is it so important that someone show their loyalty in the same way you would?  Why assume anyone not as fanatical as you is a poser?  Why, indeed, should it matter what any person who is a total stranger to us does or does not do?

Unfortunately, it does matter to some.  And even more unfortunately, most of them are on social media.

The time comes for us to “judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24).  But that time may not come around as frequently as we think.   Consider the times when we are tempted to be harsher with others than we would like them to be with us (Matthew 7:2).  Or when hidden motives are the subject of the judging (1 Corinthians 4:5).  Or when it causes more problems than it solves (Romans 14:13).  Those may be times for us — dare I say it? — for us to mind our own business.

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