9 Active Christian NFL Players (Stars)
Here is a list of nine active Christian NFL players who also happen to be stars of the league.
San Diego Charger’s Corey Lynch
San Diego Charger’s Corey Lynch gives all glory to God in the saving of a woman’s life whose van had plummeted off a Kentucky interstate and off a steep embankment, flipping several times before coming to a rest on its roof. Lynch, the son of a firefighter, told his wife to call 911 while he ran only with flippers on down a steep embankment and then climbed through broken glass to free her and sustain her until emergency workers arrived. This all-star began playing football at Appalachian State and married Cissie Graham, the daughter of evangelist Billy Graham.
Indianapolis Colt’s Matt Hasselbeck
Matt Hasselbeck of the Indianapolis Colt’s concedes that its often difficult to understand what God’s plans for your life really are so his life verse, one that he memorized long ago, was from Jeremiah the Prophet who wrote, “For I know the plans that plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, ”plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer 29:11) and he would add that those plans are not always clear.
Carolina Panther’s R.J. Stanford
R.J. Stanford, a former safety for the Utah Utes was poised to be drafted and play in the NFL until the 2011 lockout came. Talk about a frustrating time for other potential draft picks but Stanford said that all the glamour and riches that came with an NFL contract paled in comparison to his trust in Christ. He said his life was wrapped around football, fame, and fortune but this lockout made he reassess his life. He said when he put Christ first, everything else fell into place. His faith sustained him during the uncertain future he faced but his trust in Christ was more than enough to make him persevere.
New Orleans Saint’s Drew Brees
New Orleans Saint’s Drew Brees truly believes that his playing for the saints is a calling from God for him. He believed that we was going to end his career in San Diego but when a shoulder injury threatened to end his career permanently, he didn’t stop fighting to come back and play again. He believed that God used that injury to make him assess his life and that this detour brought him to New Orleans to play for the saints, being sure that it was God’s providence all along.
Seattle Seahawk’s Russell Wilson
Seattle Seahawk’s Russel Wilson give credit to God for where he is in life. He was drafted in the 12th round overall and signed with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks but even in times of doubt, Wilson declares that Jesus is always there as He will never leave you or forsake you (Heb 13:4) as the author of Hebrews writes. He truly looks to Jesus at all times for give him strength and comfort in his life, no matter what’s going on around him.
Arizona Cardinals Jay Feely
As Jay Feely, of the Arizona Cardinals, would tell you, he loves to study the Word of God as he and his wife Rebecca hold regular Bible studies in their home but he also mentors young players and has actively volunteered in their communities as an act of love. He loves the Bible verse written by the Apostle Paul which says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13) and that verse, along with his strong faith, give him the confidence to do what the Lord would have him do.
Green Bay Packer’s Aaron Rogers
Aaron Rogers grew up hearing the philosophy of St. Francis of Assisi who said, “Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary, use words” but Aaron Rogers uses both words and action as he is living out his faith in his love of football in the NFL. Roger’s believes that you can share more of your faith by your actions than you can your words and so his actions speak louder than any words could in his opinion.
Seattle Seahawk’s Russell Okung
Seattle Seahawk’s Russell Okung is a devout Christian and isn’t shy about telling anyone about Him. He is an offensive tackle and when faced with great challenges, like their recent playoff and Super Bowl games provided, Okung says that the Bible tells us about peace and Jesus is that peace. He gives him peace of mind but also draws a sense of comfort and strength in his relationship with Christ.
These NFL stars give the glory to God for their athletic abilities, their gifts, and their skills and this type of humility is sorely missing today in professional sports. They don’t give themselves the credit for where they are and how well they are doing but all glory to God and to Him alone. It is just as the Apostle Paul asked in his rhetorical question to the Corinthians, “For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it” (1 Cor 4:7)?
Article by Pastor Jack Wellman