Recently I watched a documentary special from ESPN entitled “The Marinovich Project”. Without a doubt, it was one of the most depressing sports stories I had ever heard. It detailed the life of Todd Marinovich, a kid who was “created” by his father to become the PERFECT Quarterback. Before little Todd was able to crawl, his father began training him to be what others would later refer to, “The Robo-Qb.” He was on a strict diet, a rigorous workout routine, and absolutely no social life — Oh, and by the way this is going on before he even was 7 years old! Groomed from even before his birth to be the greatest quarterback of all time, Todd had set the national high school passing record — throwing for nearly 10,000 yards in his career — and was already being compared to legends like Jim Kelly and John Elway. To make a long story short, Todd’s father, Marv, did indeed build the perfect quarterback.
Unfortunately, he failed to build a real son. Todd received many accolades and accomplishments: Set record after record throughout his high school years, became a star at USC in California by leading them to a coveted Rose Bowl victory, and became a professional quarterback in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders. Hidden within the glitz and glamour of all his accomplishments, Todd struggled with terrible drug addictions and it would be those addictions that ultimately cost him his NFL career. Yeah, sure … That’s depressing; but what is TRAGIC is the reasoning behind all his poor life decisions. To paraphrase a quote from Todd himself, he said that he wanted SO BAD to have his father’s APPROVAL. It would not be until he was in his twenties, spiraling out of control with the Raiders, that he finally got it from him verbally — But it was too late …
As Christian people, I feel that a majority of believers truly suffer from “Marinovich Syndrome”. Simply put, way too many people are desperate for their Heavenly Father’s approval. There are people across this nation and this world that are angry and frustrated with themselves for “letting God down” and seemingly never recover. Across this planet, MILLIONS upon MILLIONS of people try to DO things to make God love them and accept them … This is so opposite of what Scripture teaches. No one ever should look at what THEY have done; instead they should look at what Christ DID! The Apostle Paul was right when he wrote, “comfort one another with these words”. There is comfort in the Bible if we actually looked at it:
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; – Ephesians 1:6-7
We do not have to seek God’s approval. As the REDEEMED, we already have it! Isn’t great to know that we have an impartial Father? Why are we not jumping for joy over the fact that you do not need merit to be accepted?! Let there never be a sliver of doubt creep into your mind about whether or not God loves and accepts you. Certainly you will fall and fail, you may NEVER reach your full potential, and your life my go up and down … but there is one CONSTANT: You are ACCEPTED of God! I leave you with one final verse of encouragement:
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39