I’m partnering myself with People of the Second Chance and their Never Beyond Poster Series. They will feature 25 posters representing well known historical, current, and fictional characters who are believed to have harmed society. The campaign draws out themes of forgiveness, grace, and what a pathway to a second chance looks like.
This week is Mike Tyson.
Standing Back Up
When I hear the name Mike Tyson, I think of two things: boxing and biting off Holyfield’s ear. I too think of cannibalism when I’m being headbutted multiple times, so I don’t know what the big deal is about that. Oh, wait…he spit the ear chuck out, didn’t he? Noob!
I don’t know too much about Tyson; I was never much of a boxing fan beyond the Rocky movies. However, I do know that he, among other things, is a convicted rapist, a drug addict, and cheater (both in the ring, and in his marriages). Does this mean that he’s unworthy of forgiveness? Does this mean he doesn’t deserve a second chance?
In 2005, he was quoted in USA Today saying:
“My whole life has been a waste – I’ve been a failure. I just want to escape. I’m really embarrassed with myself and my life.” (Source)
From what I understand, Mike “The Baddest Man on the Planet” Tyson is trying to turn his life around. He’s making an attempt to change. He’s trying to stand back up after being knocked down, and I, as a imperfect man, can respect that. Romans 3:23-24 says:
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
None of us are perfect, and if Jesus can wash away my sin, He can wash away Tyson’s, and if He can wash away Tyson’s, He can wash away anyone’s. I don’t know where Mike Tyson is spiritually, and frankly, that’s none of my business. But I do hope that he finds, or has found, redemption through Christ Jesus. I believe that we all need to make an effort to stand back up after being knocked down. When we feel like we’re nothing more than a screw up, let Jesus take us by the hand and lift us up. Proverbs 24:16:
“For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.” (NIV)
When we fall, we need to stand back up. God is always there to help up get off the mat and back into the fight. Getting and keeping our lives right with God is difficult work. It is likely that we will fall at times, but it’s when we stand back up that we show that we are willing to do what it takes to get our lives right. Through the blood of Christ we can receive uncountable second chances.
With all of that being said, don’t you think Mike Tyson deserves a second chance? Because…I think we all do.