Monday, January 25, 2010

Favre and Forgiveness

Last night was a great example of how one moment can lead to lasting images. In the football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints, a legendary figure made a fundamental mistake and it cost his team a victory and a birth in the Super Bowl. How do you ever get over that?

In case you missed it, Brett Favre threw an interception with the score tied and the Vikings close to field goal range right before the end of the game. As soon as he threw the ball, the commentator said, “That is the first thing they teach you not to do playing quarterback.” It was one of those moments where you felt empathy, sadness, and shock all at once. Could this be how Favre ends his career?

In our lives we all have those “one moment” kinds of mistakes. We all do what we know we shouldn’t, we all forget the fundamentals and try to do the spectacular. The good thing for us is that our failures typically don’t happen in front of millions of people.

As I listened to people talk about the game and the end last night, I was reminded of all the failures in my life. I have blown it. I have thrown the ball when I should have run. I have tripped myself on obstacles that I saw clearly. When I reflect on scripture I am reminded that almost all of the heroes of our faith failed as well.

Abraham lied, Moses murdered, David committed adultery and murder (aren’t those the top two on human lists?), Peter rejected Christ and Paul killed in the name of YHWH. The beautiful part of the gospel is that none of them is held captive by their sin. All found grace, forgiveness and mercy by the power of the love of God.

Brett Favre will be blasted today on every sports talk program in America. But how many of us have thrown an “interception” this week? How many of us have blown it in much more important situations than a football game? Aren’t you glad that God does not hold us captive to our sins, but forgives us through Jesus?

“You have been set free from sin and become slaves to righteousness.” Romans 6:18

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