Many of the Christian players in the NFL make public displays of their faith, like pointing to Heaven after scoring a touchdown. Peyton Manning doesn't do that--though he certainly respects those who do. Why has the well-respected athlete seemed more private about his faith? The Christian Examiner reports that he always wants his actions to speak louder than his words.
But his words definitely do speak. In his book, "Manning", he shared how he became a Christian. He was 13 and in a church service at a Southern Baptist church in New Orleans. "The minister invited those who would like that assurance through Jesus Christ to raise their hands, and I did," he wrote. "Then he invited us to come forward, to take a stand, and my heart really started pounding. And from where we sat, it looked like a mile to the front.
"But I got up and did it. And I committed my life to Christ, and that faith has been most important to me ever since."
That day set his top priorities in order: "For me generally it had always been the big four: faith, family, friends, and football," Manning wrote. "... As important as football is to me, it can never be higher than fourth. My faith has been number one since I was 13 years old."
His faith has led him to give back to others. The Christian Examiner reports: "Last September, he treated an Indiana woman dying of cancer to a weekend to remember at Mile High Stadium in Denver where she experienced a behind-the-scenes look at the NFL and met Manning, whom she had enjoyed watching play for close to 20 years."
But what most people don't know is the stuff he does in private. Longtime Indianapolis columnist Bob Kravitz wrote, "Whatever you read about, he does 10, 20, 30 times more things that you never read about. I can't tell you the number of e-mails I've gotten from people who said that Peyton did this, that or the other thing for a child or for a sick person that never made the newspaper, that wasn't part of the PeyBack Foundation, that was just a random act of kindness."
Maybe he's following Jesus' advice to not do good deeds for public approval. Or maybe he's just modest. But in any event, we respect him. Do you feel the same?