Wide receiver, Mike Wallace, had a great start to his career while playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers and catching long touchdowns from Ben Roethlisberger. But, over the last three seasons with the Dolphins and the Vikings, he’s had up and down success and last year was his worst in the NFL. 

Now playing for the Baltimore Ravens, Wallace caught a 66-yard touchdown in the first game of the season while helping them secure the win. Many people doubted he had anything left in the tank after his poor season in Minnesota (and the fact he’s a 30-year-old receiver), but he had this to say after his Sunday’s performance:

 “A lot of people wrote me off. They think I don’t have it, but I’ve got something for them. I told you all that from Day 1. They better get ready, because I’m coming.”

As sports fans, we write off guys all the time by saying they’re done, they’re no good, or they won’t help this team. The sad thing is, we do that to other people we encounter as well. We view someone’s poor decisions, behavior, or struggles and think thoughts like, “they’ll never get it” or “I give up on him” or “he’s too much of a mess.”

The truth is, Jesus came to earth to save sinners by dying on the cross, and none of us deserve the grace and forgiveness He freely gives. Who are we to say that someone is too far from God to receive His mercy?

In 1 Timothy 1:12-17 (NLT), Paul writes to Timothy explaining who he used to be and showing how God rescued even him:

“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do His work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve Him, even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted His people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus.

This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of His great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in Him and receive eternal life. All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; He alone is God. Amen.”

We can be encouraged by the example of the apostle Paul who represents the type of person we could easily write off. Let’s trust that the same powerful God continues to transform and save the worst of us. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I’m amazed by the grace and mercy You show me through Jesus. Help me to have hope that even the people I know who are far from You will one day surrender and give their lives to You. I know you are good and loving and filled with grace. Help me to be similar, instead of writing off people. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.