Hey guys! This short post I wrote is almost two months old now, but I think it can still be quite relevant to our lives. This post has served as the inspiration for this blog. Hope you enjoy it. Please comment if you feel led. I am far from an expert theologian, and am always open to debate about spiritual matters.

Original date: May 9, 2015

Last week we talked about the incredible sacrifice Manny Pacquiao made by broadcasting his beliefs on TV and donating $44 million to charity from his fight with Mayweather. We talked about how many fans he lost by proclaiming his Christianity. We talked about how much guts it took for him to proclaim his faith to that many people. But how much did he really lose? He still had hundreds of thousands of fans cheering him on. He is still safe, healthy, and free even though he spoke about his beliefs in public. He still has enough money left over to spend $5,000 a day until he is 80 and give his family a $100 million inheritance. So if he did not really lose that much, how much did he gain? Does losing all of those fans make him more righteous than a pastor who loses his congregation because of his stance on gay marriage? Does announcing his beliefs on TV make him more bold than a man who risks his life sharing the Gospel in Iran? Does that incredible $44 million pay for an extra-large mansion in heaven? What does the Bible say about this?

  1. Losing fans – Speaking out about his faith is one thing Manny got right. He has a unique situation which gives him a powerful opportunity to share his faith, and does not seem to care about losing fans. Christianity has never been about teaching people to follow you. In fact, God condemns fanaticism in the first commandment: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”. The fans that Manny lost are the ones that were let down by their idol because he believes in a Higher God.
  1. Boldness – Manny is praised for being an open Christian and being willing to pray in public despite opposition. However, Jesus speaks about that in Matthew 6:5 – “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.”
  1. Money – God expects Christians to give a part of their earnings to help with the work of the kingdom, but Jesus spoke very clearly to those who give money: “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. ” (Matthew 6:1-4)

So what can we draw from Manny as an example for our lives? Should we praise him for the money he gave away and his open prayer life? I believe that we should. After all, Jesus specifically says that his praise from man will be his only reward. Let us be careful to not do the same so that we can receive a heavenly reward. However, sharing openly about our beliefs is an area where we can and should follow him.

The amazing thing is that in God’s eyes we can give even more than Manny has. All my church’s donations combined over 10 years would not even come close to $44 million. But the dollar amount does not matter to God. In Luke 21:1-4, Jesus gives the example of the poor widow – “And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.” This passage even goes beyond giving money. It can also apply to giving our time to God. After all in our culture time is money. When is the last time you gave all that you had to God? When is the last time you truly sacrificed your time to share the Gospel or encourage a brother? Will you ever give everything that you have to God? Or are you too selfish? I hope that this encourages us all (including myself) to be willing to give more to God. After all, everything that we have is everything that He has given to us.

 

All quoted scripture taken from the King James Version.

One comment on “Christian Sports Figures

  • Good job, Jeff. I am excited about this blog and can’t wait to see what other topics you will come up with.
    Keep writing!

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