Jim Daly Christian Blog and Commentary
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What Christians and NFL "Goats" Have in Common

  • Jim Daly Jim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
  • 2012 Jan 25

Posted by Jim_Daly Jan 24, 2012




It’s always painful to watch another person hang their head in shame, even if it’s over a non-critical issue like a fumble or a shanked field goal in the NFL playoffs.

So, when the Baltimore Ravens’ Billy Cundiff missed wide to the left against the New England Patriots and the 49ers' Kyle Williams fumbled his second punt return of the game against the New York Giants this past Sunday, many of us winced.

That’s because most of us don’t like to see another person hurting. We feel for the guy who makes the big mistake in the big game. Perhaps it’s because deep down we know we’re likewise faulted and prone to doing the same kind of thing within our own little world.

Kyle Williams fumbles footballs. I’m prone to fumbling for the right words to comfort my wife when times turn tough. Billy Cundiff’s kick missed the mark at the wrong moment. I’ve been known to kick a problem down the road. My intentions may have been good, but something slipped at the very last moment.

The only difference between me and the two latest NFL “goats” is that millions of people aren’t watching me blow it in prime time.

Can you relate in your own life?

Ever since the fall in the Garden of Eden, men and women have been fumbling their way through life. Even the most upright (no pun intended) slip and stumble, which is why Jesus had to come and die to save us from our sins.

We are faulted and imperfect. We can’t do it alone.

Sadly, both Cundiff and Williams have received death threats from obviously troubled people. Fortunately, others have given them what every Christian considers one of the greatest of all gifts:


Williams’ own teammate, tight end Delanie Walker, stood up for his friend in the aftermath of the loss:

“We all lost this game. … We play as a team — it’s 45 of us out there. It’s not Kyle’s fault, so don’t go over there and act like it is. 'Cause it’s not.”

That’s a good friend and a generous gesture. But as good as that gift of human grace may feel, it pales in comparison to the grace and love Christ offers all who come to Him.

There are no second chances this season for Cundiff and Williams. Not so for the Christian.

Ours is the God of the second and third and fourth chance. He will lift up the weary. He will give strength to the weak.

“I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” said He.

Have you felt like a “goat” lately? Have you dropped the ball or blown a kick? Are you in need of a second chance? It’s only through the Lord that we can recover the fumbles of life. After all, it is He who has come to seek and to save what was lost (Luke 19:10).

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