The power of being believed in

Published 10:33 pm Friday, September 4, 2015

Like all fans of the Washington Redskins, I’ve known lots of highs and lows through the years. There were lots of highs during the era of Coach Joe Gibbs in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, and, well, lots of lows since then.

There have been brief glimmers of hope, like the 2012 season, when the team reeled off a streak of victories under rookie quarterback, Robert Griffin III.

But Griffin has been injured quite a bit since then, and even when healthy has utterly failed to make the adjustments that every NFL player has to make in order to sustain excellence. Since 2012, he has been so bad that it has been difficult to watch.


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But the team had given up so much to draft him that they were reluctant to bench him, even after it appeared that backup Kirk Cousins was the better player.

Finally, on Monday afternoon, coach Jay Gruden stepped to the podium and made the announcement that Cousins would be the starting quarterback, not just for the next game, but “for 2015.” Gruden was absolutely clear and definitive. “It’s Kirk’s team,” he said.

The jury is still out on what kind of coach Jay Gruden will be, but he gets lots of points for his leadership on this issue. He didn’t equivocate. He didn’t beat around the bush. He made it perfectly clear that Cousins had his backing and his confidence.

Next, it was the new quarterback’s turn to speak, and the articulate Cousins did not disappoint. He said, “There’s something powerful about feeling believed in. There’s something powerful about knowing where you stand.”

And there is something powerful about that statement!

First, Cousins said, “There’s something powerful about feeling believed in.” When a leader expresses confidence in someone, it has an empowering effect on that person. This is the case whether the leader is a coach, a boss or a parent. In fact, when we let people know that we believe in them, it often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

As someone wisely said, “Treat a person as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a person as if he were what he could be and should be, and he will become what he could be and should be.”

Second, Cousins said, “There’s something powerful about knowing where you stand.” Absolutely! Cousins knows that he doesn’t have to look over his shoulder and fear that the coach is going to yank him out of the game if he struggles. What does this kind of confidence do for someone? It frees a person to be their best.

This is the beautiful thing about the gospel of Jesus Christ. When a person turns to the Savior and trusts in his death for their sins and his resurrection from the dead, God adopts that person as his very own child. Furthermore, he makes it totally clear where his children stand with him.

Romans 5:1-2 says, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

As believers, we stand in God’s grace, and therefore we can rejoice in hope!

Dr. Thurman R. Hayes Jr. is senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Suffolk. Follow him on Twitter at @ThurmanHayesJr.