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Two NFL Players are a Contrast in Doubt and Faith

Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, was raised in an evangelical Christian household. Soon after winning the Super Bowl in 2011, Rodgers began questioning his faith. Rodgers told ESPN he no longer identifies with a religious affiliation and now believes "organized religion can have a mind-debilitating effect, because there is an exclusivity that can shut you out from being open to the world, to people, and energy, and love and acceptance."

Possible Preaching Angles: If you want to contrast Rodgers spiritual journey with another NFL player, consider using the story of a lesser-known player named Ryan Succop, a field goal kicker was the last overall pick (256th) in the 2009 NFL draft. The media label the last pick "Mr. Irrelevant" because last picks rarely make it. Succop, though, is in his ninth season as a placekicker and entered this season ranked 20th all-time in career field-goal percentage. Succop thanks God for his success: "Every gift and ability I have obviously comes from him." Kicking field goals can be a high-stress occupation: "When you're performing before 75,000 fans out there and you mess up, everyone knows." He reads Philippians 4:6-8 before every game and recites it in his head before every kick: "Every time I read that and pray that, the Lord has blessed me with peace and ability. God makes clear that he doesn't want us to be anxious. Every time we're anxious about something, we're not trusting in him."

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