I believe at some level poor theology is to blame for most failures in Christian living. Here is another example of this in Steve Johnson of the Buffalo Bills, who recently dropped a potentially game-winning pass. His Christian failure, however, was not dropping the pass but blaming the dropped pass on God. He sounds as if by allowing him to drop the ball in the game, he felt that God was “dropping the ball” in governing the affairs of his life. Johnson later 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…”
Three things come to my mind with this:
First, I am reminded that poor theology always destroys Christian living. What you believe will always affect how you live. If you believe you have got God on a hook because of your service to him, then you are in for a rude awakening. This is an example of the theology of the prosperity gospel run amuck. “I have served God all this time,” we think. “He owes me. He can’t let me down now,” we silently assume. This is disastrous theology. We should never assume that God’s agenda and our agenda are always the same. Big mistake (Is. 55:8-9). We should also never think God owes us something. Bigger mistake (Rom. 11:35). And finally, we should never think that our personal happiness, our worldly success or our sense of fulfillment is foremost on God’s priority list (1 Cor. 10:31). Perhaps the biggest mistake of all.
Second, is this insightful quote from John MacArthur:
“It is tragic when new converts, especially celebrities, are immediately encouraged to begin speaking publicly, not simply to give testimony to their salvation, but to begin giving advice and counsel about other aspects of Christian doctrine and practice for which they are not biblically or experientially prepared. Not only does it tend to foster pride and false confidence in the new convert but almost inevitably offers shallow, and often erroneous and spiritually dangerous, ideas to those who hear them.” MacArthur, James, p. 71.
Third, is the fact that Johnson’s reaction is sadly all too typical of our sinful impulses, yes each one of us. It may be that some of us are more instructed in the fine art of non-disclosure when it comes to sinful attitudes and thoughts, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the reality doesn’t ever lurk beneath the surface. The lurking presence of frustrated discontentment can be found creeping up on every one of us at times. It seems to me that a lesson can be learned from Mr. Johnson…Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall (1 Cor. 10:12-13).