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|Michael Vick: The End or a New Beginning?||08/24/2007|
Anyone doubting the power of addiction, bad judgment and what we once properly called "sin" can learn from this experience. Michael Vick is an example of the tragedy that comes when we are held captive by a force of deception and destruction. He knew what he was doing was wrong, but for whatever reason, be it pride, self-deception, rebellion or any other depraved human condition that drove him to continue such foolishness, he repeatedly chose to do the wrong thing.
Many are discussing whether he has a future in the NFL. Frankly, such talk is wasted breath. Every caring person (and certainly every person who claims to have faith in God) should be concerned about Michael Vick's life as a whole.
I know the power of bad habits and bad influences. When given ground in our lives, a stronghold can jerk us around and make the smartest people look stupid. Perhaps you've never been there, but I have. I also found a few people who cared about me, so I can tell you that nothing is more important than those true friends with a legitimate concern about our well-being. Success, money, fame...it's all meaningless without the love of others.
Michael Vick is in a pit. He doesn't need people shoving dirt on top of him. He needs people reaching out to help him rebuild a broken life. Yes, he should pay for any crimes he committed, but that doesn't mean that his life cannot be redeemed. The same is true for all those unknown people around him. Because they are not famous, they may seem to be unnoticed -- but not by God. They each need a trustworthy Christian ally who will neither condone the sin nor condemn the sinner. Only one who understands restoration can help restore someone and that's what Vick and the others need to offer them hope and help.
For my part, he and his family have my prayerful interest. I would readily reach out in a direct way to offer assistance, counsel, encouragement and hope if given the opportunity to do so in a personal way.
Like me, Vick came out of an impoverished childhood to build a brighter future. Yet I can attest to the fact that the influences and appetites developed in early, unhealthy conditions make it very easy for a person to mishandle success. Often, the adverse affects of a dysfunctional past return to threaten a better future.
The answer is to look up and reach out. God has our best interest at heart, if we can just quiet our minds to listen. God's people can play an important part in the restoration process, if we will allow them into our lives.
The redemption offered to any of us remains available for all of us. Celebrity status can be an obstacle, as witnessed in the lives of Paris Hilton, Michael Jackson, Lindsay Lohan and the like, but there is no obstacle that the love of God cannot overcome.
I ask all believers to join me in prayer for Michael Vick -- that the doors for personal ministry, whoever that involves, will open up and that he will respond in a positive way. Though he's experiencing a setback in his life, God promises that He can work all things for good in the lives of those who love Him and diligently seek Him. Let's pray that this will be a turning point in the life of Vick and all of those others associated with him who contributed to this grand mess.
Author: James Robison
Word Count: 631
About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, a Christian media ministry and mission relief organization. He and his wife, Betty, host of the television program Life Today; He has authored numerous books, including The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope and True Prosperity.
Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at jamesrobison.net
Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.