Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Retirement - Will He Or Won’t He?

In the light of the epic tragedy in Haiti, the contemplated retirement of Minnesota Vikings 40-year old quarterback Brett Favre seems a relatively small matter – and rightfully so. The future Hall of Fame QB saw his dream season come to an abrupt end after suffering an overtime playoff defeat, along with a brutal personal beating at the hands of the victorious Saints of New Orleans.

At the present, Favre himself is not certain of his own future. That, in turn, means the exact same dilemma for his current team. But retiring for #4 can mean most anything. He has retired twice before only to suddenly re-emerge with another team. As one reporter put it, “Even if he was absolutely sure today that he was returning or retiring, it wouldn't mean spit, because - as he has proven twice before. Let's face it, the only time we'll know for sure if Favre is retired is when they play NFL games and he's not in them.”

Brett Favre may, or may not, have intentionally toyed with teams or signaled mixed messages along the way. Nonetheless, he has created a degree of suspicion with some organizations that might think long and hard before pursuing his considerable gridiron skills.

One of the most important aspect of anyone’s character is the ability to be honest, trustworthy, and fully dependable. It has been long been assumed that a man is only as good as his word - although the value of honesty seems to have had a distinct decline in recent days.

The wisdom book of Proverbs vividly highlights any lack of truth as something literally despised by God. In chapter six the author declares, “These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16-19) It is likewise interesting that, of the seven things in the passage, three have to do with the ills of the human tongue, with two specifically mentioning the sin of lying! And the fact that lying is mentioned even in the same breath as murder is rather enlightening not to mention stunning!

In John chapter eight Jesus was speaking out about His eventual earthly departure. In verses 43-44 he offered some rather vivid and harsh language. “Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”

Satan is fully devoid of any truth and has spread his lies about man’s desperate need to trust and obey God from the very start. (Genesis 3:2-5) A prime illustration of failing to resist his false and deadly venom is revealed in the New Testament in John 18:37. Jesus was standing before Pilate and speaking to His eternal authority and purpose. In 37 He declares, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." The governor’s subsequent words then revealed the depths of his own spiritual darkness – something still characteristic of mankind as a whole ever since. “Pilate asked of Christ, "What is truth?" How ironic that was since the very consummation of all existing truth in the universe stood in bodily form just inches from him.

Later on in John 14:6 the Lord would confirm to a confused Thomas what a calloused Pilate could not seem to grasp. “Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Jesus does not just speak the truth. He is the truth!

In the grand scheme of life, death, and eternity the future career of a Brett Favre, or anyone else for that matter, is fully insignificant. When all is said and done, all that matters for him and his entire race is dealing with truth that salvation comes exclusively through personal faith in the truth incarnate – Jesus Christ. Acts 4:12 states it efficiently and emphatically.

“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

Bill Breckenridge

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