Life lessons from football


“What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” Matthew 16:26

Coming out of the University of Tennessee in 1998, Peyton Manning was a much-celebrated quarterback. He has lived up to the hype throughout his football career. Manning holds numerous college and professional football records and won the ultimate prize of the Super Bowl for both the 2006 and 2015 seasons. In the 2011 season he could not play because of two neck surgeries. In a pure business move, the Indianapolis Colts released Manning from his contract.

Peyton Manning played his first regular season game with his new team — the Denver Broncos — and had some quote-worthy comments:

“The hardest part for me those two weeks (between leaving the Colts and signing with the Broncos) was not being part of a team.” — Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning was the ultimate team player. In life we also have a team God has provided in our family, friends, co-workers and church family. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another.” God never meant for us to live on an island. Be a good teammate in the areas of life God has placed you.

“I know how hard I’ve worked to get to this point (the first game after a one-year hiatus). I know how much help I’ve gotten along the way from a lot of people. I’m very grateful for that.” –Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning set a goal to return from an injury and he achieved that goal. He also realized he could not do it alone. Proverbs 21:5 says, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” If Manning had not had a good plan with good people around him and tried to get back to football too early, he may not have experienced the success we saw on Sunday evening.

“In life and in sports we know that nothing lasts forever. The same year the greatest physical gift (football) the Lord gave me was taken away from me, I was blessed with the greatest gift any of us could have in two beautiful children. I’d take that trade every day of the week.” — Peyton Manning

Finally, Peyton Manning realizes perspective is important. How about you? What may you value more than the important things of life? Jesus said, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:26) Determine any area where you may be “off balance”, repent of this before the Lord, and determine by His Spirit to create space in your life for this new priority (family, ministry, etc.).

What are you facing today? Have you taken it to the Lord in prayer? Have you confided in family and friends for support? Take the necessary steps to see it to completion and see what God will do.

William “Carey” Northington

William “Carey” Northington of One Master Ministries in Xenia may be contacted at

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