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March 3, 2024 | Daily Devotionals | March 3

Get Back Up


For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.  Proverbs 24:16


How many active NFL placekickers can you name without doing a search? (I came up with three.)


Placekickers toil in relative anonymity until they either make a game-winning field goal, or miss one. It’s a job that entails hours of boredom punctuated by moments of terror (at least, that’s how imagine it). As of this writing, the highest paid NFL placekickers make $5 to $6 million per year, and the average kicker’s salary (including punters) is $860K. A quick search on my ESPN app reveals that kickers attempt around 35 field goals per season, and about 25 extra points (more XPs on a good team, less on a bad one). Would you turn down the chance to make $14.3K minimum every time you kicked a ball? (Me neither.)


For real though, I wouldn’t want a field goal kicker’s job. We can all think of a time when an errant kick in the final seconds of a game broke our hearts. Can you imagine having to live with that? You’re out to eat with your family and you overhear, “Hey, isn’t that what’s-his-name—the guy who choked and lost the playoffs for us?” 


It’s one thing to choke in private; it’s an entirely different thing to do it on national television. But like every great kicker, we all choke from time to time. (Choke, as in, lose our nerve, our courage, or our focus in a critical moment.) Peter choked when he denied Jesus three times. The Sons of Thunder choked when they had their mom ask Jesus if they could sit on His right and left in heaven. Abraham choked when he lied about Sarah being his sister to save his own skin. David choked when he committed adultery, and then murder, to cover it up. 


Whatever you call it—failure, face-planting, choking—it’s not fun. Mistakes and miscues turn into personal history, which turns into trauma that can haunt us unless we reconcile it—clear it from our spiritual and emotional balance sheet. Like a great kicker who bounces back after a shanked field goal, we go back to basics and mechanics: We are God’s men, our debts and mistakes already paid by Jesus. We turn to our team of guys for support. We hit the playbook—God’s Word—once again, and allow the Coach to give us new direction. 


Father, help me give my mistakes to You and remind me that my identity is in Christ, not in anything I’ve ever done or failed to do.

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