Anyone who is a football fan knows of the Michael Vick saga. For those who don't, here is a short overview.
Vick was a quaterback for the Falcons and he led a secret life of dog fighting. He would buy dogs and train them to kill other dogs for fun and to gamble on. He was caught and sentenced to 2 years in a federal prision. He served his time, and was released. Since then he is back in the NFL playing quaterback for the Eagles. This season, he has had what some people say his best season ever as a pro. He is in the discussion this season as the NFL MVP.
Now everyone today either loves or hates Vick, and the majority of people today hate him. What he did was absoluty horrendous. If you have seen any of the pictures from the dogs, then you understand how bad this was. The pictures make me sick just looking at them. I am a huge dog lover and I can't stand the thought of anyone hurting a dog, or even training them to kill each other is horrible.
But, Vick has served his time. While in prision, he was councled by Tony Dungy, one of the greatest Christian ambassadors in the NFL ever. He helped Vick turn his life around. Once released, he was watched closely by Rodger Godell, the comissioner of the NFL. He was making sure that Vick really did change his life and that he was becoming a better person. Dungy and Godell didn't care about his football skills, he cared about Vick becoming a better human being.
So, how should we react to Vick playing in the NFL again and being so successful? Plain and simple, we should support Vick and encourage him in brotherly love. Vick repented of his actions and is moving on. We don't judge people on their past, but we encourage them on who they are becoming. Vick is trying to become a model citizen. I do not know his relationship with Christ, but I have faith that Dungy spent a ton of time teaching him the Word. But that shouldn't make a difference on how we should react to him. How do we react to lost people we see at the store? Do we instantly hate and judge them? No! We love, support, and teach them the Word.
Someone once challenged me and said, "How would you react if Osama Bin Laden repented, became a Christian, and started to spread the good news of the Gospel?" Would we still have the same hatred and anger towards him for what he did?
The thing we need to understand is that we have been forgiven of our sins toward God and we should forgive just as we have been forgiven!
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”I also pray that for those of you who read this, that you will forgive others just as Christ has forgiven you. No matter how bad the sin was or how many times it happend, that you will forgive them and love them as brothers and sisters in Christ.