Game Changer is not the kind of book that I typically read. It isn’t that I do not find any value in books that combine sports and faith, it’s just that I do not have time to read them. However, I am currently giving my life to the discipleship of kids. I thought it would be beneficial to read a book geared toward kids to see if it would be commendable. As I indicated in my review of Game Changer, I find this book from Washington Redskins quarterback, Kirk Cousins, worthy of recommendation. There are many reasons for this, but I will allow my review to stand and not repeat those reasons here.
Cousins is not a theologian or a pastor, nor does he claim such statuses. Some of his theology is a little, eh. Some of his phraseology could use tweaking. I would prefer he not refer to salvation as “making Jesus Lord and Savior.” Like, how does a guilty sinner command Jesus to do something? I would prefer if the gospel was front and center in each of his biblical principles instead of mixed in some of them. I wish he was a tad more confident and bold in calling people to believe in Jesus, instead of being passively evangelistic in an I’m-not-forcing-this-down-your-throat manner. However, this honest autobiography is full of wisdom and biblical principles that I would want every young boy I disciple to embody.
Kirk Cousins is not Peyton Manning. He will most likely not be your son’s favorite football player. He is not mine. However, the NFL in recent months has shown that it is full of character-deficient athletes. There are quite simply too many athletes that are not worthy of following and are poor role models. Cousins’ presence and Christ-centered life is refreshing and I would encourage you to point him out to your son. He is not the only Christian in the NFL. However, encouraging your sons to follow the example of a man resolved to follow Christ no matter what comes his way makes Kirk Cousins fan-worthy.
If you have a son interested in football or any sport whatsoever, pick up Game Changer. Even if your son is not interested in sports at all, the principles in this book will prove valuable in any walk of life. In the meantime, I have compiled 20 meaningful quotes from Game Changer to whet your appetite.
1. I have a relationship with God through his son, Jesus Christ, and he is the Game Changer of my life.
2. [I]t is not my style to point to the sky after throwing a touchdown pass or to bow in the end zone following a score. The focus of my faith’s expression is found in my everyday life. My faith shapes who I am as a person. My faith shapes my values; my moral choices; my friendships; my role as a football player, a son, a brother, a student, and a leader.
3. I’ve never had a standard path to success. I’ve always had a path where, in the end, I would look back and see how God provided.
4. This is a story about the greatness of God and about the fact that he is worthy to be trusted.
5. Whom I choose to follow has had so much to do with finding my way in life…[W]e need to be careful in choosing our role models It’s equally important that we become the kind of role model that is worth following.
6. God wants to redeem your life and use it for his glory and the good of others.
7. God is at the foundation of my life, the source of my identity. As painful as this loss is, football is not what defines me. As I left the stadium that night, I just kept clinging to the fact that, somehow, someway, God would bring glory to himself through my failure.
8. Football as a foundation for life would not stand up when the storms of life blow through.
9. This is the central message of the Bible, that Jesus came to earth in bodily form and paid the penalty on the cross for all the wrong that we’ve done. If we ask Jesus to forgive our sins, he is willing and able to forgive us and cleanse us.
10. The God of the universe wrote an instruction book for the game of life and sent it to us.
11. Facing and overcoming adversity begins with a choice. It begins with a decision to press on in spite of the present circumstances.
12. God didn’t intend for us to do life alone.
13. Discipline in one area of life carries over to other areas of life.
14. If we are focusing on God’s greatness and glory rather than our own, we can’t help but live with a different perspective.
15. God tells me that my worth is based on the fact that he purchased me with the life of his own son, Jesus.
16. Money is a means to an end and that the only fame worth living for is his.
17. Love and commitment require an incredible degree of humility.
18. You may or may not be an up-front person. You may or may not be the vocal type. You can, however, regardless of personality, be an example and a servant.
19. We must be willing to be in uncomfortable situations where we need the power of God–this is when God reveals his greatness.
20. I am counting on the fact that God has a plan for me, and that he will unfold it as I seek to follow him. There’s no better place for me. There’s no other place I’d rather be.
Mathew Gilbert is a student at Boyce College (B.A. Biblical and Theological Studies). He is the author of the forthcoming book Come to the Well: 50 Meditations to Fuel Your Joy in God (CrossBooks). Mathew lives in London, KY with his wife, Erica, and their dog, Simba. You can follow him on Twitter @Mat_Gilbert.