O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith

God Done Steve Johnson Wrong, Apparently

Yesterday, during overtime in the game between the Buffalo Bills and the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson had the game-winning touchdown pass fall right into his arms. It would have won the game. It would have been a beautiful play. But he dropped it, right there in the end zone.

Here’s the play:


The Steelers ended up winning 19-16. Poor Steve Johnson. I felt sorry for the guy…until I saw his tweet after the game.


I have very little patience for athletes who score a touchdown and then, when they’re asked about it in a post-game interview, give credit to the Almighty for their spectacular performance. “That wasn’t me, man,” I’ve heard them say about catching a pass or making an interception. “That was God.”


It’s good to credit God for your talent or abilities, but do you think he really wanted you to score a touchdown? Other than a passing interest in the New Orleans Saints or the San Diego Padres (and a mild discomfort with the Duke Blue Devils), does God really care about the outcome of a sporting event?

I doubt it. But while athletes are always giving God credit for their successes, it’s rare for someone like Steve Johnson to come right out and blame God for his mistake. All that 24/7 praising and this how God do him?

It’s kind of refreshing, in the same way that it’s refreshing to see a dead deer on the side of the road because all you usually see is armadillo and skunk roadkill.

Here are some things we have learned from Steve Johnson’s tweet:


1. Apparently Steve Johnson praises God in his sleep. The noise of his snoring must be particularly joyful.

2. Good deeds Monday through Saturday do not guarantee that you will catch every pass on Sunday.

3. If he had used fewer exclamation points earlier in the tweet (I count 19 when 5 would have sufficed), Steve Johnson could have spelled out “thx tho” in its entirety. This is important to me.

4. If you are going to question God, it’s better not to use all caps, because it’s like you’re shouting. Shouting to the Lord is only appropriate for 1990s-era worship songs. It is unacceptable for complaints.

5. If God wanted Johnson to learn anything from this, it’s that one should not use a public forum like Twitter to air his theological grievances with God. Everyone knows a more appropriate public way to do this is by writing Psalms.


[H/T: TMZ]

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posted November 29, 2010 at 11:16 am

If God gets credit for the stellar performances, surely he deserves the blame for the not-so-stellar.

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posted November 29, 2010 at 11:35 am

Just more proof that, as we’ve known all along, God is a Steelers fan. As well He should be.

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posted November 29, 2010 at 11:35 am

This post is hogwash. And not in the good and Godly way that results in clean hogs.
By suggesting God doesn’t care about football game outcomes then are you also suggesting that God also doesn’t care about the far more important music awards? Are you saying that Beyonce getting hosed was not divine judgement? How am I supposed to use that story as an object lesson for purity in young girls if you are correct? (“Don’t take your clothes off or dress sexy if you want to win an MTV Moon Man.”) What about X-Games? Are you saying that God didn’t care that Todd Potter’s sick backflip-superman-upside down thing didn’t win? (I’m still not sure what Todd did to anger God so I use this as an object lesson on hidden sin.)
Without God to blame who does that leave us with? Hogwash.

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posted November 29, 2010 at 12:07 pm

First of all, any discomfort God may feel about the Blue Devils is more than offset by the presence of Duke Divinity School, which is a a prominent Methodist Seminary. Otherwise, Ashertopia has a very good question: if not God, then who’s to blame?
P.S. AymieJoi, I seriously doubt God care enough about pro football to support any team, much less the Steelers. NCAA basketball is another story and it’s clear He’s a Tarheel.

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posted November 29, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Well I live in Scotland and I don’t know who Steve Johnson is, nor who the Buffalo Bills or the Pitsburgh Steelers are.
However, though briefly distracted by the question all non-Americans ask themselves when watching American football – why are these guys wearing armour? – I do know one thing: I really like Steve Johnson!
I love his public complaint to God! I’m always yelling at God about how He lets me down when I’ve just done something stupid. I know it’s my fault and not God’s (well, mostly) but I’m so disappointed He doesn’t make my life easier for me, and I think it’s OK to yell because it means I have a relationship with Him. Go Steve! Be angry! It’s good to know I’m not the only one!
(Sorry about all the exclamation points, Jason)

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posted November 29, 2010 at 1:09 pm

or could it be that it’s just plain his own fault? Bad day for Johnson!

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Ed Feathers

posted November 29, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Feel embarrassed for the player as I’m sure he regrets venting on Twitter, but find his honesty somewhat admirable. Definitely should have done it in private though.

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posted November 29, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Why are you going to complain about God when you are not doing your job correctly? You’re a marquise player, a professional athlete; the one thing you get paid to do is catch a damn ball and you can’t even do that right? Don’t blame God for failing when he gave you the ability to run and catch the ball to begin with… stupid! lol

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posted November 29, 2010 at 4:00 pm

I must confess I find myself praying during football games for my team to win. Even though I know full and well that God has much better things to do than give the Georgia Bulldogs divine intervention. (Lord knows they could use it.)

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posted November 29, 2010 at 7:07 pm

If God gets credit for the stellar performances, surely he deserves the blame for the not-so-stellar.
I so agree, Chris.
I’ve a friend who won’t take any kind of praise. He attributes it all to God. It used to annoy me a lot (& sometimes still does). But then i began doing a work that can be almost miraculous in folk’s response to it (certain types of massage). While i am good at what i do, and am very pleased with a positive response, i often feel very humbled when i do this work because it is a body’s natural response to what i do not my skill alone.
Still, often crediting all things to God strikes me as a false humility and rather cheap.

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jay sauser

posted November 29, 2010 at 8:45 pm

#4 was funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! very good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Charlie's Church of Christ

posted November 30, 2010 at 1:50 am

I think his frustration is less with God and more with himself, and he tried to sidestep it by putting the blame elsewhere. Because he cannot really be suggesting that God was controlling his hands to cause him to drop it.

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posted November 30, 2010 at 8:36 am

Jason, I have no comment which would improve on what you have written. Great!

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posted November 30, 2010 at 9:54 pm

What I’m surprised is that Satan (the favorite imaginary whipping boy of devout and\or insane to blame everything from bad behavior to grand calamities) wasn’t invoked.

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posted December 1, 2010 at 3:06 am

One more thing we have learned from Steve Johnson’s tweet:
6. @God has a twitter account and reads tweets all day (which, to him, is like a thousand years, so he has been at it for about ten seconds). Does this imply that @God has given up on Facebook?

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Adam D. Jones

posted December 2, 2010 at 2:59 pm

This post is very rude. Hasn’t everyone questioned God at some point in their life?

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Jason Boyett

posted December 2, 2010 at 4:18 pm

@Adam D. Jones:
Yes, I’ll admit it’s kind of a mean post. And to answer your question: Yes, I question God all the time, privately as well as publicly, on this blog and in my books. But I do not blame God for my failures. There’s a difference between questioning (“Where are you, God?”) and blaming him when you mess up (“Why you do me this way!!?!”).
I don’t use unreasonable quantities of exclamation points, either.

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Milford Woodard

posted December 3, 2010 at 9:28 am

There are days when he couldn’t miss or drop a pass no matter what.Did he give GOD thanks that day?
Lets say he took his eye off the ball for a split second or shift position whatever he did, he did it NOT GOD. We blame GOD and people for our mishaps. You know GOD doesn’t mine you blaming him, he likes for you to communicate with him and just maybe things happen so you can communicate with him — think about it.

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posted December 3, 2010 at 10:45 am

Take your questions to God privately not in a public forum calling Him out! That is not the way to get the response you want from God. The Lord never said things would always be perfect. What He did say is that in this world we would have troubles, but that He would see us through them. We also don’t receive anything He blesses us with because we have been good enough or because we deserve it; it is only through His grace(unmerited favor), and His love for us and our love for Him. I personally thank God He doesn’t give me what I do deserve, and that He does give me things I don’t deserve! Grace; it’s awesome!
I pray that through this selfish tantrum of Mr. Johnson, he gets to know the Lord personally in a way he obviously doesn’t know him now; then and only then will he know true joy and have peace that passes all understanding no matter what is happening in his life.

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Graceful Bob

posted December 3, 2010 at 11:53 am

Did God cause Johnson to drop the ball? Of course not!
Does God help Johnson catch the ball (which he does often enough to earn a great living)? Of course not!
If we believe that everything belongs to God, then:
A) God has provided Steve Johnson with some wonderful, innate abilties: speed, eye-hand coordination, size, etc.
B) Whether Steve catches the ball or not is a matter of what he does with what God has given him.
Regarding the public forum: do you think God can’t handle Johnson’s complaints? Do we need to protect God from a little bad publicity? Of course not! And somehow I sense that SJ’s public complaint will help him, and many others, develop a more authentic relationship with his maker.

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Terry Harmon

posted December 3, 2010 at 11:57 am

It is not God’s fault that he ( steve johnson) cannot catch the ball and hang onto it.God gave him the gift of playing the game ,but is upto Steve the use the gift. There are any number of reasons why he couldn’t hang on to the ball.Steve can use all the excuses as to blame,but to blame God that is hitting below the belt.People listen it is not wether you win or lose it is how you play the game.I think I have said more than enough. Steve was having a bad.Sure it would have been nice to win ,but the other side wants to win also.I say to Steve get over it and get back to the basics of life.And quit blaming God for your troubles and take good look in the mirror because problems are yours and not God’s. I wonder if God was to call Steve up to God’s desk and start asking questions as to why It is God’s fault what kind of excuses would Steve give.

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posted December 3, 2010 at 11:58 am

Another “Christian” who thinks God doesn’t care about the outcome of a game. Sure He does. Why does an athlete train, compete? To win. A Christian, to glorify God too. You work hard, do the right things, you win. Christians are called to coach and play so their profession is important too. Can’t stand these know it all writers who say it doesn’t. Does God care about Jason Boyett’s writing? Answer that Jason.

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Jason Boyett

posted December 3, 2010 at 12:13 pm

So, because we disagree, I’ve now been reduced to a “Christian”? Thanks.
I didn’t say professions aren’t important. I didn’t say how you compete isn’t important. I didn’t say God didn’t care about the players involved or the effort they give or whether or not they glorify God with their talents.
I said I doubt God cares whether Pittsburgh or Buffalo wins a football game enough to intervene so Steve Johnson catches or doesn’t catch a pass. And I believe that.
Does God care about my writing? Of course. Because he cares about me, and because he cares about what I do with the talents I have. But does he care whether my writing wins an award over someone else’s writing? That’s debatable.

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posted December 3, 2010 at 1:21 pm

He might want to read the book of Job. Then he might find out he has little to complain about. I look at it this way he has a job and a special athletic ability. Thank God for your many blessings. Do not be angry when life especially something so trivial does not go your way. Hope he learns from it!!!

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posted December 3, 2010 at 2:20 pm

I never read such idiotic nonsense as this article. To blame God for something as stupid as a football game makes one wonder who those people are really serving because it sure is not God. It’s more likely they are serving themselves and their own egos. God is way, way beyond all this absurd and ridiculous rant about some guy dropping a football. Perhaps he needs to learn humility because if he is busy blaming God, he thinks too highly of himself, thus is guilty of idolizing himself and not worshiping God. And I agree that Steve Johnson should read the Book of Job, if he can get out of his own way. God is not mocked. He can see into the heart. A person who makes a big public display out of praising Him when things go wrong and publicly blaming God when things don’t go his way, does not fool anyone. He is like the Pharisees that Jesus condemned.

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StevenYour Name

posted December 3, 2010 at 5:09 pm

God is indeed in absolute control and yes He cares if you drop a pass or catch it. If you’re a Christian submitting your life to God then every event is directed by him.
The God that counts the hairs on your head also counts all your completions and dropped balls.
I know how the athlete feels. Is his question any more different then the person who cries out to God “why did You allow me to lose my job, my child, my spouse, my home, my health, and on and on and on????”
God does indeed allow things to happen. We just have to trust that ultimately it is for our eternal good!

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posted December 3, 2010 at 6:31 pm

The bottom line is this: God does not owe anyone anything. He is, above all, THE Supreme Ruler. As my Dad, He does whatever He wants when He wants. However, He loves us beyond what we can possible imagine and does all things for our good, no matter how much we think it might be unfair or unreasonable. He is interested in even the minutest detail of our lives but His will reigns over all. He considers entire nations as less than nothing. (Is. 40:17) The football player has nothing to complain about because God could have very well visited something on a Jobian scale to humble him. Dropping a ball is really very, very tiny in comparison. If he had all his wealth, his family and his home wiped out in the blink of an eye, then he would think that dropping the ball was nothing. He needs to get over himself.

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sweet t

posted December 3, 2010 at 6:40 pm

God had nothing to do with you not catching the ball….LOL really? blaming your mistake on God! wow dude you really need to read the bible and talk to God who created you and gave you the talent to play ball…you have to do rest! Peace and God bless you ….you really have some issues!

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posted December 4, 2010 at 5:47 pm

I think it is refreshing to hear a man of faith speak his grievances to God in open. When he works this out with God, and I am sure he will, I would love to know what God taught him in all of this.
I love God, and I am not always happy about the outcomes in my life, but I belive that God knows what is best for me, even if I don’t understand it at the time, or I don’t get what I want.
He is actually displaying a very human characteristic; we are still disappointed when we don’t get our way, just like when we were children and didn’t get our way with our parents. I would imagine that he feels close enough to his God to voice his grievances, and know he is being heard. Stacy B

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posted December 6, 2010 at 1:57 am

God cares? ..God doesn’t care? No one knows either way. How ludicrous to talk about what God does or doesn’t do. It comes down to what you BELIEVE’ GOd does or doesn’t do..ultimately it isn’t about God but what about a person ‘thinks’ and believes..The incredible number of questions that are begged in these posts are absurd.
None of you knows what God really thinks. My personal opinion is that it was a carton of milk that caused him to drop the ball, that milk really has an interest in football and no God.

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Mick Pesc

posted December 6, 2010 at 2:20 pm

From Job and David to me having my wife taken from me leaving me with a 2 year old to raise. People have felt deserted unfairly by God and shouted out in anger. Haven’t most believers had this moment? I have as much repect for Johnson as ever. Not a fan of Tweeting but I am fine with him sharing his walk and learning.

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Phillip Smith

posted December 7, 2010 at 5:55 am

I don’t know this guy, and I probably shouldn’t criticise him per-se, as we are all on a journey. However, it sounds like he really needs to get over himself, as, to blame God for losing his football game, as has been done in other ways(the most exteme way that springs to mind is that of Pat Robertson ,blaming the vicitms of Hurricane Katrina, and calling the town”a city of sexual perversion”) to me, smacks of a concept of an interventionist God.
Earlier in the year, I had the pleasure of getting out of our local library(sadly, recently destroyed by fire), Harold Kushner’s “Why Bad Things Happen to Good People”. I first read about it, when we did “Living the Questions 2″, last year, and it was a really refreshing read,if one manages to read it. To summarise, he basically says that bad things happen, sometimes without explanation. It’s just the way life is. It is my hope that he will come to a realisation of God as such. Greetings and Peace. fishy.

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