Tim Brown: “Our Single Purpose on this Earth is to Serve God” (Gospel Light Minute #152)

Tim Brown
Tim Brown

He is a former NFL wide receiver. He played college football for Notre Dame, where he won the Heisman Trophy in 1987, becoming the first wide receiver to win the award. He played for the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders for 16 years from 1988–2003, and later played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004. He was selected to the Pro Bowl 9 times, made the AP Second-Team All-Pro, and was selected to the PFW All-Conference 6 times. He won the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award in 2012. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009. He is the only player ever to retire in the NFL’s top five leaders for both receiving and return yards. In both 2012 and 2013, he was selected as a finalist for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is currently a college football analyst for ESPN.

In an interview with Game Plan for Life, he spoke about his Christian faith. Even though He grew up in the church as a child and was taught the ways of the Lord primarily by his mother, he slacked off from following God in college and in his early days in the NFL. He said, “Even though I had all of that good teaching, it doesn’t mean that I was living the way I was suppose to live. At the University of Notre Dame and my early years at the Raiders, I was ashamed of how I was living. I remember one day, I think I was 23 or 24 years old, I looked at myself in the mirror, and I couldn’t stand the person that I was looking at. I knew that I wasn’t doing what God wanted me to do….I was around 27 or 28 when I finally said it was time for me to live right. I had been given all of the teachings. I knew what I needed to do. It was just a matter of making those tough decisions.”

He went on to tell of how God is working in His life. He said, “There are plenty of challenges around and plenty of reasons to keep us on our knees praying and fasting. There are challenges in my family. There are challenges with my kids. It is like my pastor said, if the devil is not attacking your family, then your family must be doing something wrong. He must already have your family where he wants you, if he doesn’t need to attack you anymore. The better you try to do, the more the enemy is going to discourage you.”

Looking at his impact on others and the big picture of life, he said, “When I was about 32 years old and on a Hall of Fame run, I thought my career was being extended because I was going to be in the Hall of Fame. What hit me was that I realized I wasn’t here to make the Hall of Fame. I was there, because I needed to show those young men that you can play the game at a high level and have faith. Initially, I was let down because it wasn’t about the Hall of Fame. Instead, I began to think about the impact that I was going to have on other men. I am not trying to say I lived a perfect life. Sometimes you can walk into a room without saying anything and offend people. That is not what I am trying to say. The men in the locker room the last 10 years that I was there never heard me curse, never saw me drinking or doing anything crazy. When the men talk about me now, they are either going to have to lie about me and make up something, or they are going to have to tell people the truth that I tried my best to live right. When Junior Seau died, I told people that he had lost his purpose. His purpose was not to be a football player. His purpose was not to raise money for all of his charities. His purpose was to serve God and show people how to live for God. That is your purpose even in the midst of all the stuff that you may be going through. I think that it is so important for people to understand that no matter what platform we are given our single purpose on this earth is to serve God. Whether you influence one person or a million people, that is what you have to do. You have to show people that this is what you are supposed to be doing with your life. You are supposed to be serving God.”

His name is Tim Brown.

New York Giants Player, Justin Tuck, says his Faith in Jesus Christ is ‘Essential’ to his Development (Gospel Light Minute #114)

Justin Tuck
Justin Tuck

He is a defensive end for the New York Giants. He played college football for the University of Notre Dame. And was picked in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He was selected to the Pro Bowl twice in 2008 and 2010 and twice to the All-Pro in 2008 and 2010. He and his team won Super Bowl 42 in 2008 and Super Bowl 46 in 2012. He has also been voted defensive team captain by his teammates for the past 3 years. His commitment to serving others inspired him to create the “R.U.S.H. for Literacy Program” which seeks to encourage children to Read, Understand, Succeed, and Hope.

He said of his faith, “For me, it started with my upbringing. My mother and father raised us in the church. I know a lot of times you hear about people going to church every day, but I can honestly say that I went to church…just about EVERY DAY. It was this lifestyle of constant worship that was embedded at an early age. I truly believe that I have been blessed to have this platform as an NFL player in one of the biggest markets in America for a reason. That reason is to spread how good God has been to me and to let his light shine through me…Faith is tremendously important in my family and it’s been essential to my development.”

On the impact of Bible study with his teammates, he said, “For our team dynamic, I feel that bible study serves as another way of helping guys stay faithful to God. In the locker room it can be very hard sometimes because you don’t always have guys that are necessarily living for God, so sometimes you need to see a face or hear a voice from guys that are trying to walk in that way. I think it’s been really beneficial for our locker room because it’s brought a lot of guys closer in their faith and closer to each other. It’s really helped us.”

He encourages young people and student athletes to place their faith in Jesus Christ as well. He said, “When I started being recognized as an athlete, it was hard to prioritize my faith. I tried to play both sides of the fence. When I was around people that were Christians, I tried to act like them. Then when I would get around guys that wanted to go out in the club and party I tried to put on that front. If I could offer any advice from the mistakes that I’ve made, I would say: Don’t try to fight it, and don’t try to impress everyone. Live your life the way that you know you’re supposed to, which is living for God. Don’t worry about what people might say or think…You’re not going to make everyone happy so you might as well do what you know is right. Be who you are and that’s good enough. There will be a lot of pressure that will come your way. However, I’ve found out that by being who you are, a child of God, you have all the defense that you’ll need in life.”

His name is Justin Tuck.