Quarterback Commandment No. 9June 11, 2009 at 11:30 am | Posted in I Corinthians, Quarterback Commandments | 5 Comments
Tags: 1 Corinthians 3, 2 Corinthians 5, Bill Parcells, Christian quarterbacks, Dallas Cowboys, Danny White, Philippians 3, Roger Stauback, Tony Romo, Troy Aikman
Bill Parcells, like him or not, has a passion for one thing above all else: Winning. Ultimately, in terms of their career, that is how football coaches are judged. In our ongoing series of Quarterback Commandments, which Parcells (then Head Coach of the Dallas Cowboys) gave to Tony Romo, the same criteria applies to quarterbacks.
Quarterback Commandment No. 9: Get your team in the end zone. Passing stats and TD passes are not how you’re going to be judged. Your job is to get your team in the end zone and that is how you will be judged.
Spiritual Application: A Christian minister will be judged, not for how popular he is, and not for the number of followers, converts, or students he claims, but for his obedience to the Lord, and for how well he managed the resources God gave him.
Since the Super Bowl era began in the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys have had many quarterbacks, but only four really elite ones: Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Danny White, and Tony Romo. All four can boast impressive statistics: quarterback rating; completion percentage, yards passing, touchdown passes, etc. However, to date, only two of those four are considered to be truly “great:” Staubach and Aikman. And that is not because they had the most impressive statistics. It is because they consistently got their team in the end zone, and won games. They are the only two on the list with Super Bowl victories – 2 for Staubach and 3 for Aikman.
Bottom line: Quarterback is a glamorous position. Quarterbacks are lauded for performing well. But statistics don’t mean much if your team doesn’t win the game.
Christian ministers are not playing a game. We will ultimately be “winners,” but even that victory will not be credited to us – it will be because of, and redound to the glory of, our great Lord.
However, Christian ministers, like NFL quarterbacks, will be judged. Romans 14:10 tells us that “we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” Unbelievers will stand before God’s Great White Throne in judgment, and then be cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15) Believers will stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
II Corinthians 5:10
I don’t understand everything there is to know about the judgment seat of Christ, but it does seem to me that we who are counted righteous, and whose sins have been washed away by the blood of Jesus, will be judged based on our works. After this judgment, which is for true Christians only, we will go into the presence of the Lord with fullness of joy, and live with Him forevermore.
As Christian quarterbacks, I am afraid that, on that day, some of our passing statistics will be burned and counted as loss.
Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
I Corinthians 3:13-15
Here are examples of some Biblical “quarterbacks” who would have never been in the top echelon of “success” by worldly standards, but who definitely knew how to find the “end zone” of obedience:
Noah – the Old Testament preacher of righteousness, preached, and built the ark, for 120 years while the fools around him scoffed, laughed, enjoyed their lives, and ignored his call for repentance. When God poured water from the sky, and brought it forth from beneath the earth, the “crazy man” who was building a boat in the desert suddenly didn’t seem so crazy after all. Noah’s stats were awful: 120 years of preaching, with no converts except his own family – yet judged by God as a smashing success!
Jeremiah – the “weeping prophet,” despised and rejected throughout his ministry. He was beaten, imprisoned, put into stocks, and reviled. It appears that, during his ministry, no one was converted through his prophecies or preaching. However, he was vindicated by God, who fulfilled each and every one of Jeremiah’s prophecies to the letter. Jeremiah reached the end zone of obedience and faithfulness when everyone around him threw in the towel, phoned it in, or pandered to the crowd.
Paul the Apostle – Here’s what Paul thought of his “statistics:”
Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
It was as if Paul told the Judaizers, “If you want to talk stats, I have thrown more completions, had fewer interceptions, had a higher passer rating, and more yards per attempt than all of you! And I consider all that to be excrement, compared to being called a ‘winner’ by Jesus!”
How will you be judged at the end of your life on earth? Were you popular? Wealthy? Influential? Attractive? God will not be impressed. Or will you be able to say that you obeyed the Lord with all your heart, working hard to score touchdowns for His team – and His team only – with every ounce of energy and every material resource He graciously entrusted to you?