Big Ben will go down as a Hall of Fame Quarterback in the NFL. He is a very talented player and plays for one of the most storied franchises in all of sports. I should know…I lived in Western Pennsylvania for about 5 years. The Steelers breathe life into the Steel City and the entire region. Big Ben came into the league and had instantaneous success. It didn’t take Pittsburgh fans long to fall in love with Ben.
One of the things, that became apparent in Ben’s life and to the world, was his faith. Big Ben is a Christian. Ben even sought to have the following initials on his cleats, “PFJ”. PFJ stands for “Play for Jesus”. A likable guy? Yes. Talented? Oh yeah! Role model?…yep. So what’s the problem?
Ben made poor choices. One who gives God glory on the field and in the locker room is also expected to do the same in private. If you are going to talk the talk…you have to walk the walk. About a year ago, Big Ben was accused of sexually assaulting not one…but two women. I won’t go into the details. It’s bad enough. Big Ben was not charged with any crimes but his reputation was tarnished.
Now, you may be saying…Dan, isn’t this post just a tad late? This is old news. Yes, yes it is. However, Ben is making headlines again today in
announcing his upcoming marriage. He also has announced that he won’t be living with his fiance until they are married this June.
This has raised many questions. Why would Ben, live such a carefree lifestyle, having sex with multiple women…to now want to live to a higher standard? Because he is human. He screwed up. He has asked for forgiveness and has been granted grace and fresh start. A very smart move. I understand it. I get it. The rest of the world doesn’t. Every choice you make matters. The bad ones and even the good ones.
We should not hold his sins against him since God has forgiven him. However, the one thing that we can’t get off our mind is his name. Ben’s nights of passion will be remembered as his biggest folly. He’ll be remembered by many as the guy who said he wanted to live like Jesus but really lived like Hugh Hefner.
Your name is valuable. Don’t believe me? What images or thoughts come to your mind when you read these names.
Just hearing a person’s name can paint a picture. It paints a picture of what people remember the most. Unfortunately that’s the way it is. Some people will remember Ben the Super Bowl Champion. Some will remember the Ben the guy who couldn’t keep his pants on.
What does the bible say about protecting your name?
“A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” – Proverbs 22:1 (NIV)
“A good name is better than fine perfume…” Ecclesiastes 7:1
What if you are thinking right now…”Ok..Dan. I’ve blown it. I’ve really screwed up. My name is tarnished. What now?”
There is good news. Even though the consequences of sin does not go away….there is still hope. There is peace. There is forgiveness. There is grace. There is renewal. The gospel doesn’t let us go back in time…but it does give us freedom to not be weighed down from the guilt of our past. There is grace available. The gospel gives us all a brand new fresh start. Thank God for good news.
What’s your legacy? What do people think of when they hear your name? What are you doing to protect your name? Do you need forgiveness? A fresh start?
Ben got a fresh start. His name will be ruined in the eyes of many people. But he now stands forgiven and set free in the eyes of God. How about you?