Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

In The News: T.O. & Lord Byron

inthenewsA couple of weeks ago two events happened on the same day, that represented the best and worst of our society.

First, former pro golfer Byron Nelson passed away from natural causes after having led a long and eventful life. Second, Dallas Cowboy wide receiver Terrell Owens was admitted to the hospital after overdosing on pain medication.

Most are aware of the controversy surrounding Terrell Owens. The man is a selfish, arrogant jerk; and his time with the Cowboys has been continually marred by controversy.

In contrast, Byron Nelson (who, by the way, was a Christian, though caught up in the liberalism of the institutional church) has been universally described as a man of integrity and compassion. He has long been lauded as a humanitarian. The Byron Nelson Classic, an annual PGA tournament in Dallas, has long led the Tour in charitable contributions. Nelson has stated time and again that he is more proud of that charitable legacy than any championship he won in his vaunted golfing career.

It is instructive that the man who is so selfish and self absorbed is almost universally reviled due to his actions and words; while the selfless and humble champion receives universal accolades and respect. Perhaps the world still understands the value of a life well lived.
One disturbing statement heard time and again during the tributes to Nelson was that “they don’t make men like him anymore.” That “his is a dying breed.” This is simply not true!

While it may be difficult to find cultural icons (famous people) with the personal attributes of Byron Nelson, there are many who have the same personality and values of that man. Such are characteristic of Christians throughout the world.

It is not surprising that worldly people do not share those same values. Byron Nelson retired at 36, at the peak of his career because he had earned enough money to buy his beloved ranch and spend his time with his family. In contrast, Terrell Owens’ publicist denied reports that he had attempted suicide, stating that Owens had 25 million reasons to live (referring to his present contract with the Cowboys).

Other professional golfers rarely turned down a personal invitation from Nelson to play in his tournament out of respect for the man. In contrast, Owens’ was reviled by the majority of his former teammates, burning bridges in both San Francisco and Philadelphia.

And yet, the most commonly emulated characteristics are the arrogance, selfishness and materialism seen in the makeup of Terrell Owens. And as the world looks for “heroes”, it is always looking in the wrong places.

Young people, there are men and women in this congregation worthy of emulation. Roles models are found here who personify the worthy attributes of honesty, integrity, compassion, love and righteousness. If you look in the right places, you will find that they are not a “dying breed” at all. And, you should look to them, and seek to pattern your life after theirs as they live for Christ. Remember the instructions of Paul, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).