Summary: Part of a real followers series based on Mike Slaughter’s book
Real Followers play hurt
Eric A. Snyder, Minister, Farwell Church of Christ
February 3, 2002
Intro.: The hard hits
Surprised to see an empty seat at the Super Bowl stadium, a diehard fan remarked about it to a woman sitting nearby. "It was my husband’s," the woman explained, "But he died." "I’m very sorry," said the man. "Yet I’m really surprised that another relative, or friend, didn’t jump at the chance to take the seat reserved for him." "Beats me," she said. "They all insisted on going to the funeral."
Imagine another world looking down at 60,000 people who pay $900,000 to sit in a stadium that cost $45 million to watch 22 men being paid $7 million a year dispute the possession of a ball that costs $16.95.
Some will never understand the pull of football. For the fan it is a place where wills are tested and character is challenged, and Champions are made. But there are some who will not understand all the fuss over a bunch of guys trying to get the ball over the goal line.
There are also some who will never understand Church, Hopefully this is a place where to come and develop eternal friendships, grow spiritually, and become a real follower of Jesus.
One of the most impressive things to me about football is how many players play hurt. Roger Stauback said “If you’re not playing football hurt, you’re not playing football.”
So what is it about this game that drives these men onto the field to win even when they are hurt. Some who are hard and cynical may think it’s the money, but I don’t think these men play the game just for a few extra bucks. They are driven by a passion to become champions!!
No matter what sport you play there is always a likely chance that you will get hit. Basketball, Football, Hockey, I have a friend who tends to stand in the path of gold balls, I have been hit in slow pitch softball. There are very few sports where people don’t get hit. The truth is we like the contact sports, they tend to have more action, but the things that truly fascinates us is watching someone compete well while in pain.
In a little while the winter Olympics will begin in Utah, most of the sports that these athletes will compete in are deadly yet athletes are drawn to them. Because of their dedication to be champions.
So what is it that causes these people to play through pain or risk their own lives?
Here’s another question before we answer that one.
The Bible says in Hebrews that we are the players today. It says that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who are cheering for us.
It also says that at times we are going to face hardship and suffering.
That at times we are going to be in pain but Paul says stay the course, stick it out. Endure. Play through the pain because if you play through the pain and hurt You will prove that in the eves of God you are a true champion, A real follower.
All of us have hurts. We hurt on so many levels and some have even stepped out of the game, Which is all right for a little while. Take some time for healing if the hurt is bad enough. But friends, real followers get back in the game. So where are you. Do you need to come out for a play or two? If that’s the case fine but don’t walk away altogether. Have you been out for years? If your hurts have not healed from years ago you need to seek resolution and move past the pain.
I’m thinking about a guy named Ed from my first ministry. Ed was a capable and competent Leader in the church but would not step up to any responsibility because of a wound 10 years prior.
I’m thinking about a youth minister I had in high school who was wounded by a church and left ministry. To this date he never stepped off the sidelines to accept responsibility or involvement in the church again.
I’m thinking about a friend of mine who was becoming more involved and active on the worship team in one of my past ministries. People who were inches away from accepting the call of Jesus. Now they don’t go anywhere, because of some hurtful things said by church members.
I’m thinking about some members of our body here that feel like they have been hit by a bus, and you are apprehensive about joining another small group or taking on responsibility.
Where are you? What would help you get off the sideline? Jesus knows that you don’t want to get hit again. But he also says You know that you are a real follower when you take shots because of me.