On Dropped Passes and Giving Credit

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Plenty of athletes thank God after a good performance, but it’s usually in a vague way that doesn’t say “Thank you God for the skills, talents, and opportunity to play this game”. It’s more like, “We won, so I better acknowledge God.”

Then there was Steve Johnson of the Buffalo Bills this week, who after dropping a game-winning touchdown infamously tweeted:

I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO…

I’m not gonna rip Steve for that tweet, even though replays did not show the hand of God breaking up the pass. He was being honest and passionate, and even if it was misguided, it almost had a Psalms-like quality to it, didn’t it? (Did I just compare Steve Johnson to David? Hecks yeah.)

The whole thing got me thinking about blame and credit.

Daniel (the lion dude from the Bible) had a brilliant mind and lots of wisdom, and when he got some love for it, he immediately passed on the credit:

“And it is not because I am wiser than anyone else that I know the secret of your dream, but because God wants you to understand what was in your heart.”

Contrast that to King Nebuchadnezzar, who ruled over the amazing empire of Babylon that Daniel lived in, and did something a little different with the credit (and ended up being turned into a grass-eating animal because of it):

“Look at this great city of Babylon! By my own mighty power, I have built this beautiful city as my royal residence to display my majestic splendor.

You might not be a dream-interpreting genius or the king of a city, but I guarantee you’ve got some praise coming your way soon. Someone is going to slap a whole bunch of credit on you, and when it happens you’re gonna have a choice to make with how you internalize that praise.

Are you going to keep it for yourself, boost your self-esteem, and pat yourself on the back…or are you going to pass it along to God?

I’m not saying there’s one right way to handle every single compliment, but I think for me, if I’m gonna go a little too far on one side or the other, I know which side I want to err on.

Go get ’em next week, Steve.