Not Perfect, But Forgiven

Not Perfect, But Forgiven

So, I’m a football fan, and since today is the Super Bowl I thought I’d share some football-related verse inspiration. I enjoy watching my favorite team (the Packers) and when they don’t make it all the way to the Super Bowl, I still tune in for the game and spectacle of it all. After years and years in marketing, I even enjoy the commercials. (Last year I loved the “God Made a Farmer” commercial.)

I remember when the Colts played the Bears in the Super Bowl in 2007. It was an historic game because for the first time ever, we would have an African-American coach leading their team. Not just one, in fact, but two.

I loved that game because two of my favorite coaches, both soft-spoken, would be on the big stage for all to see. I wondered how this moment would play out in history, and here’s what Tony Dungy said when his team won:

“I’m proud to be the first African-American coach to win this,” said Dungy during the trophy ceremony Sunday night, according to the Associated Press. “But again, more than anything, Lovie Smith and I are not only African-American but also Christian coaches, showing you can do it the Lord’s way. We’re more proud of that.”

I got very emotional and choked up at that. Think of this. He took a moment on the highest rated television event of the year to give it up to God. There was no hoopla, no grandstanding. While I think it’s perfectly fine to be that way, sometimes we can make it about ourselves and not God when you’re doing that.

Instead, Dungy didn’t make it about him at all. It was about God. Do you know the kind of impact a moment like that has?

I know a lot of other football fans, some who really like Peyton Manning. I’m not a fan of his, nothing personal there, but last week I heard something that made me look at him in a whole different way. He talked about his faith, which until this time I’ve never heard him do before.

He said:

“My faith doesn’t make me perfect, it makes me forgiven, and provides me the assurance I looked for half my life ago. I think God answered our prayers with Cooper, and that was a test of our faith. But I also think I’ve been blessed—having so little go wrong in my life, and being given so much. I pray every night, sometimes long prayers about a lot of things and a lot of people, but I don’t talk about it or brag about it because that’s between God and me, and I’m no better than anybody else in God’s sight.”

Perfect. There’s that word again. We hear it in our minds, from other people, from pop culture. We’re reminded of how imperfect we are when we make mistakes or get sick. I was reminded of it in Lisa’s post yesterday about how little imperfections pop up even when you spend so much time trying to make everything just so.

But another thing I liked about this quote from Manning was “that’s between God and me.” I think there are many ways to show your faith. You can shout it from the rooftops if you want. So often we feel such joy in the Lord that we’re in people’s faces about it. There’s a time for that.

But sometimes we need to get to know people and have them know us before we can talk about our faith in a way that will have meaning for people. We can do it with actions or words or the whole of our life.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,

as God in Christ forgave you.

~Ephesians 4:32

Cherie Burbach About Cherie Burbach

Cherie Burbach is the founder of Putting on the New. She is a poet, mixed media artist, and freelance writer. She's written for, NBC/Universal,, Christianity Today, and more. Her latest book is: Art and Faith: Mixed Media Art With a Faith-Filled Message. For more, check out her website.


  1. Lisa Lickel says:

    We each have to be true to that which we are called to be and not judge others or ourselves for what we cannot see.

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