C.J. Mahaney recently posted his reaction to Art Monk’s moving, Christ-centered Hall of Fame speech. I was unaware of the speech until I read Mahaney’s post, and was very encouraged that a (former) pro athlete would be so bold, biblically-accurate, and humble in such a speech. If you haven’t seen/heard/read the speech, take a look at Mahaney’s article now by clicking here.
Monk’s speech is such a stark contrast to the professional athletes who toss God’s name around in post-game interviews but whose lives do not line up with their “confession.” Thanking God in passing is one thing, but it’s one thing altogether to quote Psalm 8 (What is man that you are mindful of him) and 1 Corinthians 1 (Consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise).
I’m very grateful for Monk’s humble and humbling testimony to God’s grace in his life, regardless of how much mainstream media has censored it. Conversely, I’ve been bothered, embarrassed, and even angered by so many professional athletes who “honor Me with their lips but their hearts are far from Me” (Isaiah 29:13). The unbelieving world loves to pounce on these athletes when they pay lip service to God but then get caught soliciting a prostitute (Eugene Robinson), evading taxes and doing drugs (Darryl Strawberry), or comparing his “persecution” on the field to the persecution Jesus went through ($25 million dollar safety Roy Williams likening criticism of his play to Jesus’ persecution). Articles like this one on CBS Sportsline are ignorant, shallow, idiotic, and arrogant (not to mention very poor from a sports journalism standpoint). But such is the way of the world.
Such lip service must be taken with a grain of salt. Further, obviously Christians sin, too. However, Christ said that you will know a tree by its fruit. In that sense, Monk’s speech was a refreshing change of pace coming from a professional athlete’s lips.
On a side note, I’ve always wondered how Christian professional athletes justify “working” on the Sabbath. I’m pretty sure it’s not a work of necessity…