By Bill Perkins
Million Mighty Men
As a football fan I was shocked by the murder of former NFL quarterback Steve McNair, allegedly by his 20-year-old waitress mistress. She apparently shot McNair four times, twice in the head and twice in the chest, and then turned the gun on herself, ending her life with a single bullet to the head. It turns out that McNair’s blood alcohol at the time of death was over twice the legal limit.
It doesn’t surprise me that since his death there have been numerous stories about his on-field heroics. If all you remember is his football career he lived an impressive life: In 116 games, McNair threw for 31,304 yards on 2,733 of 4,544 passing attempts, with 174 touchdowns. He also ran for 3,590 career yards and 37 TDs. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and shared the most valuable player of the NFL award in 2003. Yep, that’s what his on-field friends are talking about.
But when I read the story of his murder I immediately thought of the words of Solomon in Eccl 10:1: “As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.”
All of the heroics of an All Pro player couldn’t remove the bad smell of what McNair did. He put himself outside God’s will, in the position to get murdered. Remember, this was no random drive-by. What was a 36-year-old married man with four children thinking when he got romantically entangled with a young woman half his age?
I repeatedly remind guys that whether it’s today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, or in a decade, what they do in secret will one day be known. In Prov 10:9 Solomon said, “The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.” And regardless of a man’s sweet accomplishments, the secret wrongs of his life, like dead flies, will destroy the cologne of his life.
I’m sad for Steve and his family, and even for his young mistress. If there is something redeeming that could come from this, maybe it could serve as a wake up call for anyone out there living a secret life that hasn’t caught up with him yet. If it’s you, then take some time and reflect on the impact it will have on your family and friends if your secret life suddenly became known. Or even worse, how would it affect them if your hidden life suddenly cost you your health or your life?
Eternal life is a free gift. All who simply believe in Jesus are saved forever. Lifestyle is not an issue in the gift of life. However, lifestyle is an issue in terms of the fullness of life now for us and for those we love. And lifestyle will be an issue at the Judgment Seat of Christ as well, when the Lord Jesus evaluates the lives of believers.
If Steve McNair’s tragic death prompts people to wake up and to turn from actions that are displeasing to God and hurtful to their families, then something very good could indeed come from something so horrible.