NFL player Benjamin Watson visited the Awakening Church, and the football star shared how his faith helped him on and off the playing field.
Jordan Boyce, the head pastor of the church, interviewed Benjamin about his failures, successes, retirement, and how he uses his fame to glorify the Lord.
Benjamin was asked, “How do you use your platform and your influence to point people to Jesus?” He answered, “I think the biggest part of that is realizing that we must decrease, and He must increase. We do exist for His glory; God created man and woman to glorify Him. Our ultimate purpose in life is to glorify God. He’s given us all talents and abilities, which we use, but ultimately He created us to glorify Himself because He is God, and He can do that.”
“Ultimately, we need to realize that. While we do exist to make Him famous and glorify Him, we also realize on the flip side that He doesn’t need us. That we are part of a larger body, globally, internationally, and it’s simply our turn to carry the torch.”
“So just in the same way that the disciples carried the torch, the same way the early church members carried the torch, your father, my father, we are eventually going to be gone. If you ever think you’re too important, ask your kids about your grandfather, and they don’t know him. That’s how fast we are here. You are two generations from being forgotten.”
Benjamin said fame doesn’t last, and people could forget all our accomplishments eventually. He gave an example saying that kids today think Lebron James is the best in the NBA because they haven’t been able to see Michael Jordan played. And he said because people will forget us, we should invest our time and skills in glorifying God because it’s more important.
The NFL player said God is an essential factor at why he’s a successful athlete and individual. He also said the church helped him prepare for life, but he worked a lot for his character and success.
Benjamin stated, “You as a pastor can’t get up here and shoot off the hip. Yes, the Holy Spirit is part of it, but you need to put in the work. You have to put in twenty hours to give an hour’s message. Whatever it is that you are doing, you can’t just fly off the seat of your pants.”
He also pointed out, “That’s something that translates to whatever I am doing, whether it’s being a husband, father, teammate, architect, plumber, a teacher, mother, father, child, or a student, whatever it is, I’ve learned how to prepare.”
Benjamin said he’s a ‘recovering perfectionist’. He shared an event photo on his Instagram where he said, “when you allow yourself the freedom to fail, you give yourself the freedom to succeed.”
The football player elucidated the quote, saying it took him a long time to overcome his tendencies of being a perfectionist, and it’s worth it because it helped him mature. He’s already playing for five years in the NFL when he realized the importance of failing and how it will help him become better.
He said there’s a good deal of pressure of having a pastor as your father. He explained, “I always struggled with grace. Grace was good for everyone else, but it wasn’t for me. I know better, I’ve got to do better.”