Yesterday I watched the sports authorities recap the outcomes of the football games that had been played over the weekend. Some of the scores were close while others left you wondering why the other team bothered to show up!
I watched as players were crushed by heart stopping, helmet lifting blows by their opponents in what must feel like the equivalent of being in a car crash every five yards.
I was particularly struck by the story of how Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles had six touchdowns against the Redskins. It was amazing to hear people sing his praises. Several even hailed the 30 year old as the best QB in the NFL presently.
I began to reflect on how these same people were calling him the worst person in the world following his dog-fighting debacle.
Now, those of you who read this column regularly know that I honestly believe that the sun rises and sets around my dog Smidget. A greater animal lover (within reason) you will not find.
So please do not hear me saying that I believe that it’s ok to have dogs gnaw on one another in your backyard, yet one must admit that Brother Vick was dealt with harshly.
The trouble with people elevating you based solely on popularity or their perception of your usefulness in relationship to their need, is that when they get tired of you, become upset with something that you do or decide that someone else should take your place then the cheering you once heard suddenly stops.
Psychologists and psychiatrists have even studied and documented a little known theory called, “When the cheering stops.”
This theory has been studied as it relates to athletes and successful business people who have found great personal validation in the cheering of those who are looking at their accomplishments.
The theory goes on to state that often highly successful people who have not learned how to validate themselves go through a trauma of sorts “when the cheering stops.” Some athletes find themselves coming out of retirement (sometimes more than once) well past their prime because something inside of them can not handle silence where there was once a deafening crowd.
We have to be careful that we seek God’s approval far more than the approval of man. People are fickle and their moods are more turbulent than a roller coaster.
Take the time you need to do an inventory of your life, home, health and ministry and ask the question: “What will I do when the cheering stops?”
No ones cheering for you. Don’t worry about it! When the cheering of man stops it simply gives you the ability to better discern if the cheering from God ever started.
Monday: Revelation 3
Wednesday: Ecclesiastes 3
Thursday: Matthew 7
Friday: Psalm 111
Saturday: Proverbs 23:3
Sunday: Head to Church