I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty. — 2 Corinthians 6:18
Is it possible that one man could have changed Mike Tyson’s problem-filled boxing career? Tyson believes his former trainer, mentor, and legal guardian Cus D’Amato, who died before he won the title in 1986, would have changed things. Tyson said, “It would have been totally different. Cus once told me, ‘You’re the kind of person who has to get hurt to learn.’ I didn’t understand he was talking about life…in the fight of life I am a pug, a palooka [a second-rate prize fighter].”
The Apostle Paul became a father figure to a young man named Timothy, whose father was either physically or relationally absent. Through his years at Paul’s side, Timothy became a strong spiritual leader and a great role model for followers of Christ (Php 2:22). Unfortunately, many young people today grow up physically or relationally fatherless in our society. As was the case in my life, this is where coaches can step in and help provide some encouragement and guidance for a young person, but ultimately we all need to experience the love of our heavenly Father to find true significance.
Mike Tyson believes his life and career would have turned out differently had his father figure been around longer. Maybe God will use you to help turn someone else’s life around today. Will you let Him?
1. How have you seen your influence as a coach impact an athlete?
2. Is there a “Timothy” in your life who needs the support of a mentor? How can you make a difference in his or her life beyond competition?
Extra Reading: Psalms 10:17–18; 27:10; Romans 8:14–16
Lord, thank You for being a loving Father to me. I pray that You would continue to teach me to be more like You and help me to be a Christlike influence on those You put in my path. Amen.