Back in September, Clemson decided on a change of quarterback, awarding freshman Trevor Lawrence the starting position. While fielding questions about composure in big games, Lawrence acknowledged Jesus Christ’s role in his life, saying:
“Football’s important to me, but it’s not my life. It’s not the biggest thing in my life. I would say my faith is. That just comes from knowing who I am outside of that. No matter how the big the situation is, it’s not going to define me.”
“I put my identity in what Christ says, who He thinks I am and who I know that He says I am,”
Anyone who has listened to sports interviews knows that Lawrence’s words are a refreshing new take on the usual responses. Rather than the trite “I thank God for letting me catch that touchdown” or “Praise Jesus for letting me win this award”, a level-headed perspective on an activity like football is what we should hear more of.
As a culture, we put too much importance on leisurely activities like sports and entertainment anyways, and it is wakening to hear an insider basically say, “this isn’t that important”. This is perhaps the most Christ-like thing a professional athlete can say.
In the post-Christian era, a major difficulty to living faithfully is a culture that encourages you to chase your dreams no matter what the cost, and to believe that your dreams are the most important thing in your life. This is obviously completely at odds with the command to the follower of Christ to “deny himself and take up his cross and follow (Jesus)”1.
Let us applaud this young man for proclaiming that the Christian faith is not simply an accessory to his football career, like many sports news writers want to make athlete’s faith appear. He made it clear that his faith in Christ is of primary importance, and others’ opinion of him are of little importance in comparison to how Christ views him.