It’s What Christians Do

Zechariah 7:9, Thessalonians 5:11, Galatians 6:2, 10

A record 111.5 million American viewers saw the Seattle Seahawks handily defeat the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. An opportunistic Seattle defense forced four Denver turnovers as Seattle turned in a dominating performance on Sunday night. Unfortunately the game did not live up to the much-anticipated billing of Denver’s top-ranked offense against Seattle’s top-ranked defense.

Everyone associated with the Broncos organization was very disappointed with the team’s performance. Naturally most attention turned to Peyton Manning, who received more pressure from the Seahawk front four than any defensive front all season.

During Super Bowl week Seahawk cornerback Richard Sherman continued to generate headlines following his well-publicized rant after the NFC Championship Game. At a press conference several days before the game, the third-year cornerback  made light of Manning’s passes, saying that he “throws ducks.” Manning, who threw for a record 55 touchdowns in the regular season, good naturedly admitted later that he throws ducks.

Sherman was forced to leave the game in the fourth quarter with a high-ankle sprain. Out of uniform with his leg encased in a walking boot, Richard watched from the sideline as the game ended. In the bowels of MetLife Stadium Manning showed great caring and compassion when he sought out Sherman to inquire about his health. He inquired in the aftermath of the crushing defeat and despite Sherman’s unflattering “duck” remarks.

It turns out that Peyton’s inquiry made a tremendous impression on Sherman. On the “Mike and Mike” ESPN radio show on Monday morning, Sherman said, “He was really concerned about my well-being. After a game like that, a guy who’s still classy enough to say ‘How are you doing?’ To show that kind of concern for an opponent shows a lot of humility and class.” Sherman added, “He’s a Hall of Fame player, he’s a living legend, he’s a record-holding quarterback, he’s a Super Bowl champion, he’s been a Super Bowl MVP.”

He also tweeted, “Peyton is the Classiest person/player I have ever met! I could learn so much from him! Thank you for being a great Competitor and person.”  His tweet was retweeted over 25,000 times.

I could learn so much from him! Yes, Richard Sherman has a choice. I hope that Sherman does learn from Peyton. Why? Because Richard Sherman has a unique opportunity to influence the next wave of high school and college football players in a positive manner.

The on-field exchange was another instance of Peyton’s class and humility that he has demonstrated throughout his NFL career. He shares his faith through action without calling attention to himself. Being a member of a championship team doesn’t make you a champion, any more than being a member of a Christian family makes you a Christian.  

Manning seeking out Sherman?  It’s what Christians do.  We encourage others (see 1 Thessalonians 5:11).  Galatians 6:2 instructs Christians to bear each other’s burdens as we fulfill the law of Christ, and “do good to all” (6:10).  Finally, “show mercy and compassion to one another” (Zechariah 7:9).

Why is our society is so focused on championships as the only important measure of success at all levels of competition? How would you seek to change this prevailing norm? To whom do you need to offer encouragement today?

Source:–nfl.html;_ylt=AwrBT6KEA_BSsS8AoUdx.9w4;_ylu=X3oDMTEwamRhaXBjBHNlYwNzYy1ib3QEY29sbwNiZjEEdnRpZANGQjAwNV8x, Eric Edholm, February 3, 2014