A Real Winner
One of the exciting, successful, young professional football players this year has been C.J. Stroud, a rookie quarterback for the Houston Texans. He has had an incredible year. He led Houston to the playoffs for the first time since 2019. In the regular 2023 season, he passed for 4,108 yards, 29 touchdowns, and only 5 interceptions. He will probably be selected as the offensive rookie of the year.
He always gives the credit to God. After leading the Texans to a close win over Tampa Bay, he responded to a reporter’s question with these words, “First and foremost, man, I gotta give all glory and praise to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I’ve been going through a lot, on and off the field, but when you give your life to the Lord, He gives you opportunities, and it’s what you do with them.”
Stroud’s father was a pastor who made some bad decisions. He had to serve a long prison term in California while Stroud was in high school. He and his family encountered many financial hardships and housing insecurity.
During that time, Stroud’s faith was tested and almost lost. He went with a fellow teammate at Ohio State to a worship service. Both came under deep conviction about what God wanted them to do with their lives. They made commitments to Christ and Stroud’s life turned around. He said, “It gave me a better feeling than winning a football game!”
Today, Stroud spends his time sharing the Good News. He quickly lets you know that he plays football to have a platform to spread the Good News of what Jesus Christ can do in your life.
When asked about how he has been able to navigate all his personal challenges, he always gives God the credit for helping him to be victorious. He says, “God has battle-tested me. I have the armor of God on me.” He went on to say in one interview, “I am blessed enough to wake up every day and to walk, to talk, to smell, to interact with people, and to play football.”
ESPN’s Lisa Salters welcomed Stroud to the 2024 playoffs and asked how that sounded to him. He replied, “It’s a blessing. I’m blessed to be the vessel that Christ picked to lead this great franchise, so I can do nothing but thank the Lord.” He led Houston to victory in the first playoff game and set records for a rookie quarterback!
Success is not measured by who wins the most ballgames, but who wins in the most important game in town, which is life. C. J. Stroud has a huge future in professional football. He even has a bigger future in sharing how to really win in life through commitment to Jesus Christ. And, he has a huge, huge future knowing where he will spend eternity!
Football is C.J. Stroud’s platform. What is yours? Do you see yourself as simply having a job, or a platform to carry out God’s purpose? While professional football players get a lot of publicity, the Bible reminds us that each of us has a light to shine and we can be the salt of the earth. We are also reminded that when the smallest of all seeds, a mustard seed, is planted it grows into a huge tree.
How are you going to handle your adversities? When you accomplish something, do you take credit, or give the credit to God? Is your greatest motivation to succeed in order that you might reach more people with the Good News of God’s grace?
C. J. Stroud is a winner! You can be a winner too!