This may appear to be a sports related article, but instead it’s an incredible definition of Matthew 5:37 where Jesus, when teaching us about taking oaths, says “Let what you say simply be ‘yes’ or ‘no’….” (ESV). I’ve included a portion of a story that happened Christmas Eve 2011 and the integrity shown by the Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson.
It is a gruesome injury Redskins safety DeJon Gomes crashed into Peterson’s left leg as it is planted in the ground. Peterson not only tore the ACL, but his MCL was also shredded.
That didn’t stop AP from being AP.
When Peterson was taken to the locker room he remembered a promise he made to a kid before the game. The kid was wearing an Adrian Peterson No. 28 jersey. And he had a sign that read something along the lines of that all he wanted for Christmas was for Peterson to sign his jersey. Peterson saw the kid before the game, promised he’d sign it, and remembered that promise as he sat on a table in the locker room, the knee torn to shreds, his career maybe never the same.
With tears running down his face Peterson called Vikings public-relations assistant Jeff Anderson over and told him to go out and get the jersey from the kid. Peterson signed the jersey. How many players would remember to do that after a game, even if they finish it healthy?
“I remember looking at the kid and telling him before the game is over, or after the game, I will make sure to come up there and sign it for you,” Peterson said. “When I went back to the locker room, it was something that crossed my mind — even in that moment. I knew I wasn’t going back out on the field. And I promised that kid. The sight of him having that sign, putting that memory to it, me knowing how much I mean to the fan and that little kid, so it was something I wanted to do personally.”
I am as guilty as anyone of saying “sure” and “you bet” when agreeing to do something for someone, only to find an excuse to not follow through. I think I’m most guilty of this with my kids, where I am preoccupied with something else, and they start talking to me and I do the typical parent tune out “uh huh”. The problem is, not only am I ignoring my kids, but when it’s time to go buy that elephant I’d just agreed to, I had to tell them no. Granted, I’m sure Jesus understands when I decline to buy my kids an elephant…but it makes me think if he isn’t instead asking “wouldn’t have been better off being in the first place?” Just think, if we followed through on everything we agreed to, the trust people would have in us. And isn’t that the point of spreading the Gospel, to get someone to trust you so that you can share the hope that is in you?