on to win the National Collegiate Athletic Association Football
Championship. It featured the top-seeded teams in the United States: the
University of Alabama and Louisiana State University. LSU won the game 9-6
in overtime. No touchdowns were scored in the game by either team; all of
the points were scored by field goal kickers. There were also missed
opportunities to score by the kickers for the team from Alabama. These
kickers, Cade Foster and Jeremy Shelley, have received a lot of criticism
and blame for missing 4 out of 6 field goals between them.
A previous kicker for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team, Leigh Tiffin,
expressed sympathy for Foster and Shelley in his blog. Tiffin can relate to
the current kickers. As a freshman, Tiffin missed three field-goal attempts
and a point-after-touchdown kick in a 24-23 overtime loss at Arkansas. He
also experienced success when he helped the Tide go undefeated and win a
national championship in 2009.
Responding to the criticisms leveled against Foster and Shelley, Tiffin
sought to encourage the forlorn kickers by reflecting on some lessons
learned from his own experiences. One of his lessons was: "Always separate
your personal worth from your athletic performance." *
Before WE point fingers at those who have failed in one area of life or
another, we need to understand this truth: each and everyone of us have
"missed the mark" in our lives. This is the literal meaning of one of the
words (Gr. hamartano) that are translated "sin" in Scripture. "For ALL have
sinned ('missed the mark') and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans
3:23). The fact that we have all missed the mark can not only bring
feelings of guilt and disappointment, but also the greatest penalty for sin:
eternal destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).
But God loves us so much that He sent His Son to die on the cross so that we
might be forgiven for "missing the mark" and have the prospect of living
eternally with Him in heaven when this life is over. "In Him we have
redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the
riches of His grace" (Ephesians 1:7).
God will save those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts
16:30-31), repent of their sins (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men
(Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the
forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).
Yes, we have ALL "missed the mark," but we may gain the ultimate victory
through Jesus Christ! "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Won't YOU accept His offer of forgiveness and eternal life?
David A. Sargent