Sermon Illustrations

NFL Quarterback Foolishly Refuses to Wear Motorcycle Helmet

6. We are not free to do something foolish just because it is legal. Just because something is permitted under the law doesn’t make it good or right.

a. For instance in July of 2005, ESPN reporter, Andrea Kremer, interviewed the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, who at the time was the youngest quarterback ever to win a Super Bowl.

b. One of her questions concerned his decision to ride his motorcycle without a helmet.

c. Please understand, that the law in Pennsylvania does not require the wearing of a helmet, but Andrea Kremer wanted to know, “Why didn’t he wear a helmet?”

d. Roethlisberger simply replied, “Because you don’t have to. It’s not the law. If it was the law, I’d definitely have one on every time I rode. But it’s not the law and I know I don’t have to. You’re just more free when you’re out there with no helmet on.”

e. Unfortunately, less than a year later, in June of 2006, Roethlisberger was involved in a serious motorcycle accident.

f. A motorist failed to yield the right-of-way at a Pittsburgh intersection, and Roethlisberger was thrown into the windshield of the Chrysler Town and Country van.

g. His bike was totaled, and emergency surgeons spent over seven hours repairing a broken jaw, a fractured skull, missing teeth, and several other facial injuries.

h. After being released from the hospital, Roethlisberger apologized to the fans, his family, and his team for risking his health (and life) unnecessarily.

i. In another interview, he was no longer focused on taking advantage of his individual freedom.

j. He told the reporter, “In the past few days, I’ve gained a new perspective on life. By the grace of God, I’m fortunate to be alive.”

k. He also added that, if he ever does ride a motorcycle again, “It will certainly be with a helmet.” (David Slagle, Atlanta, Georgia; source:;

m. So real freedom doesn’t mean doing anything we want, or sinning any way we want.

From a sermon by David Owens, Serve One Another, 11/9/2009

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