by Stephen Whitney

This content is part of a series.

Appeal for Forgiveness (2 of 3)
Series: Philemon
Stephen Whitney
Philemon 8-16

Woody Hayes became a well known national College football coach as he coached Ohio State for 28 years from 1951-1978. During his reign at Ohio State he won the big 10 championship 13 times and won five national championships.

Despite his great achievements at Ohio State, Hayes's coaching career ended sadly when he was fired after striking an opposing player on the sidelines late in the game during the 1978 Gator Bowl. The press had a field day in writing about with his firing as they tarred and feathered the former Buckeye coach.

Few people in America could have felt lower than he did and more humiliated because it had taken place on national TV in front of thousands of people. He had not only done a foolish thing, but he also lost his job and much of the respect which people had for him.

At the end of that season, a large, prestigious banquet was held for professional athletes. Tom Landry, the legendary coach of the Dallas Cowboys, was naturally invited along with many of the other outstanding coaches from across the country.

Guess who Tom Landry brought with him to the banquet as his guest? Woody Hayes, the man everyone was being encouraged to hate and criticize because of his anger and loss of control.

Tom Landry demonstrated his Christian faith in God by reaching out and accepting Woody Hayes when everyone else in the football world looked down on him.

Accepting someone who has "blown it" is the mark of a mature believer who realizes that everyone fails at one time or another in their life because no one is without sin.

Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual (mature) should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. David Augsburger in, The Freedom of Forgiveness, says that true forgiveness is rare, it is hard and it costs us something.

1. It is rare because real forgi ...

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