Ever have one of those “wanna get away?” moments? I’ve never met anyone who didn’t have at least one or two gihugic gaffes that will remain as a blot on the transcript of their lives forever.
And yes, I believe Richard Sherman had one of those moments during his post NFC Championship game interview when he ranted:
“I’m the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you gonna get. Don’t you ever talk about me. […] Don’t you open your mouth about the best or I’m gonna shut it for you real quick.” (Source: USA Today Sports)
I realize that excessive smack talk and bitter banter are standard in most sports, but what made this different, in my opinion, was the context.
True, Sherman had just helped save the season for the Seahawks, and high octane emotions were in place – but I felt as though he had missed the big picture.
The big picture? The Big Dance! Sherman and company are going to the most watched sporting event in America – yet it seemed as though that was lost in his constricted view of the circumstances. Instead of exploding with triumphant joy and reveling in a hard earned victory, his myopic tirade was mired in his personal vendetta with Michael Crabtree.
And when you think about it, aren’t we all more like The Sherminator than we’d like to admit???
Here we are as Christ followers, not looking forward to playing in a three hour game that will one day be forgotten, but rather actively fighting in a war for the souls of our friends and families! THE Cause is not a game, it is a battle for eternity – and yet we stand around focused on our petty problems and rant at our first world tribulations.
And we’re not the first generation of believers to do so – check out God’s instructions to Christians living 2000 years ago:
Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor.
Remind everyone about these things, and command them in God’s presence to stop fighting over words. Such arguments are useless, and they can ruin those who hear them.
Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:4-6; 14-15, NLT).
This was written during the time of the ancient Greek Olympics, and I’m sure there was some Spartan Olympiad who had just defeated an Athenian in wrestling whose post competition interview went something like this:
Ambrosia: “Simonedes, pray thee, tell me about thy final competition.”
Simonedes: “Verily I say to thee, dost thou not knowest that I am the greatest in all of Greece? When thou tryest me with a pitiful wrestler like Archimedes, therein such fate will befall! Nay- nevermore shalt thee speak of me!”
And the pride/anger cycle has continued both on and off the field for thousands of years. But maybe we should learn a lesson from this viral video and allow it to be a reminder that we should get our eyes off the inconsequential difficulties and get back into the big picture!
Right now as you read this, there is a friend who has lost hope because of a personal tragedy. There are dozens who have never felt as though they have any meaning, purpose or value in life. There are hundreds who have never heard the good news of the gospel and are frightened beyond measure when they ponder eternity.
And you? You, my friend, are “the best” Christian in the game! You have been called and gifted to take chances and risk your reputation for THE Cause. There will be people who talk smack and enter into bitter banter, but fix your eyes on Jesus Christ, and when the competition is over the words you will hear in the “post game” interview will be: “You are a good and faithful servant. I left you in charge of only a little, but now I will put you in charge of much more. Come and share in my happiness!” (Matthew 25:21).
That will definitely not be a “wanna get away?”’ moment!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
I wish I would approach the Christian life with as much passion as Richard Sherman approaches his boasting, and I’m glad for the reminder of how easy it is to miss the big picture of the Christian life. Let’s remember what team we play on and what is at stake in this “game” of life!
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Jesus, You are the Captain of our salvation. Help us fix our eyes on You and strive for the victory so we can advance Your Kingdom and THE Cause. Help us take our eyes off the temporary and put them on the eternal for Your glory. In Your Name, Amen.
Read: Hebrews 12:2. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Get: SomethingAmazing.net. Don’t get bogged down with petty rants about your temporary, relatively insignificant woes. You have something amazing to share with those who need Jesus: the message of the gospel! Check out this seeker friendly gospel-sharing video and share the link with your friends who need to hear the gospel.
Discussion Guide for Leaders
Big Idea: Sherman’s interview illustrates that we also lose sight of what is truly important, because we get focused on our temporary, relatively insignificant issues.
Key Scripture: 2 Timothy 2:4-6; 14-15
- What do you think of the Sherman interview?
- What distracts you from the big picture of THE Cause of making disciples who make disciples?
- How can you better compete in the battle for souls?
- How can you apply this Soul Fuel in your life to further THE Cause of Christ?