Monday, January 14, 2013

Using Your Faith The Right Way

FOOTBALL IS A game of emotion. I've played and officiated sports and I understand how things get the best of us. I will never point fingers. I will always try to be fair.

But I think Ray Lewis carried it too far last Saturday, after his Baltimore Ravens upset heavily favored and host Denver in the NFL playoffs.

I don't know much about Ray Lewis, other than he's an incredible linebacker and his career is coming to an end. He got into trouble a few years back, and some say he was fortunate to not get charged with murder. I've heard his side of the story, and what others have written and said. I don't know, and really, don't care. It is what it is.

Lewis wears his faith on his sleeve, and he's never afraid to tell people how important God is in his life. That I appreciate.

Late in Saturday's game, they kept showing Lewis repeating the Bible verse from Isaiah 57:17:  "No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper." He said it again during the overtime coin toss, and after the game when he was screaming and bellowing to a CBS reporter on the field.

Sorry, but the Denver Broncos weren't a weapon formed against you, Ray. It's a game, albeit a violent and gladiator-like spectacle where you get paid millions. Perhaps you just fit the circumstance to get you fired up or make you play better. Whatever works.

Newsflash, Ray. God could not care less if you won or lost. He's there either way. God did not say, "Sorry Peyton Manning, but I'm going to foolishly make you throw across your body in the second overtime so Baltimore can pick it off." God did not say, "Fling it Flacco, because I'm going to make the Broncos safety stay up instead of back in coverage, and I'm going to let the ball go over his head and have your guy catch it with a few seconds left to tie the game."

For all the knocks against Tim Tebow, he at least did not say God made him have a terrible season with the Jets.

I do not sit in judgement against anybody, even Ray Lewis. If he wants to rant and rave about how no weapon prospered against him, I guess that's OK. I'm just glad Peyton Manning showed incredible class by congratulating him mid-rant and a few hours after the game, after all the media left.

I'll take all the blessings I can get, and be grateful for them, and I won't ponder or wonder if the bad guy has a bad day, or root for God to not let them prosper.

By the way, here's the whole verse. You decide the context.

"No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, said the Lord."

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