Touchdown! Jesus?

You have undoubtedly noticed that football players often take a knee, point to the sky, and give the credit to God when scoring a touchdown. I’ve seen golfers do the same when they make a putt and basketball players when they sink the game winning shot.

Countless times people have expressed to me their disapproval of this behavior. “I think it is so stupid that people believe that God won the game for them, or that God caused the touchdown to happen.” Most of us have said or thought something along those lines at least once.

What strikes me about such comments is the way they reveal our ingrained need to feel spiritually superior to other people. The ego loves pointing out what it perceives to be spiritual superficiality in other people. It’s a clever strategy we all use from time to time to avoid facing our own fragility, insecurity, and spiritual confusion.

So: is it ridiculous to believe that God helped my team win? That God orchestrated a weather pattern that shut down an entire school district so that I could take an extra day off to get things done? That God is the reason I got the full asking price for my house?

Maybe, maybe not. I really don’t know.

What I do know is that it is spiritually healthier to thank God for these things and mean it than to stand alone and pray: “God, I thank Thee that I am not like other men” (Luke 18:11).