A month or two ago most people probably hadn’t heard the name Brock Osweiler. Really, it wouldn’t be that surprising if many still haven’t. Being the die-hard Broncos fan and living in Denver, we’ve heard an almost constant stream of talk about him the last few months. For the last three years, Osweiler has warmed the bench behind one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks, Peyton Manning. However, this year when Manning went down with injuries, Osweiler took the field for his first ever NFL start.
From the very moment the spotlight shined on Osweiler, he has shown himself to be a team player. Everything he has said has been about the team. When he did well, he talked about what a great team win it was. When Manning was recovering and people asked what he would think about being sent to the bench again, Osweiler communicated that he would do whatever was best for the team.
This last Sunday was a horrendous game for the Broncos. The team had a total of five turnovers, three of which came from Osweiler in the first half. Interestingly, none of them were really his fault (except maybe one). His turnovers came from a receiver missing a very catchable pass and horrendous offensive line play. The other two turnovers by the team had nothing to do with him, yet a lot of the blame seemed to be put on Osweiler. The fans in the stands were “booing” him. The announcers on the radio were down calling him. The halftime coverage was all about Osweiler needing fix things. Then early in the second half, the running back fumbled and Osweiler was sent to the bench. When Peyton Manning ran onto the field, the fans roared with approval.
If this was anyone else, there is no telling what the reaction would have been. Frustration. Anger. Embarrassment. For Osweiler, he humbly and quietly stood on the sidelines and watched his team. When the team scored, he was seen clapping and cheering for the team. During breaks, he was giving praise to the players and talking strategy. Even after the game was over he said in an interview, “The way I look at it, as long as this football team wins games, that’s all I care about…As long as this team is winning games, I don’t care who plays quarterback” (DenverBroncos.com). What an incredible example of a team player.
In the Lord’s church, it can be hard to be a team player at times. People loved to be praised. People love attention. People want to be better than others. While it’s not usually seen in public, sometimes behind the scenes we secretly wish we had gotten the praise instead of someone else. Maybe this was why the people in Matthew 6 were so eager to “practice their righteousness before men to be noticed by them” (vs. 1-6, 16-18).
Perhaps we forget that no matter how good we or someone else is, and no matter what things we or someone else may have accomplished, the members of the Lord’s church are all on the same team. If anyone in the Lord’s church succeeds, we all succeed. And we’ve completely missed the point if we’re looking for praise, because in any of our “glowing accomplishments,” the only one who truly deserves the glory is the Lord. After all, any abilities we have come from the Lord in the first place (1 Corinthians 4:7).
Paul summarized it well, “Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.” If we can accomplish good things by ourselves, imagine how much more we can accomplish when we humbly work together to bring God glory. Let’s work with each other. Let’s help each other. Let’s cheer for each other. Let’s strive to be team players in the Lord’s church!