While there are many things that identify who a person is, for the Christian nothing is deeper than his or her identity in Christ. Tony Dungy demonstrated this after winning the Superbowl last evening when he had this dialog with the reporter.
Jim Nantz of CBS Sports: This is one of those moments, Tony, where there is also social significance in this victory, and to have your hands on the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Tell me what this means to you right now.
Tony Dungy: I’ll tell you what. I’m proud to be representing African-American coaches, to be the first African-American to win this. It means an awful lot to our country. But again, more than anything, I’ve said it before, Lovie Smith and I, not only the first two African-Americans, but Christian coaches showing that you can win doing it the Lord’s way. And we’re more proud of that.
Look at some of the words he used: more than anything and we’re more proud of that. It shows you that the most important thing about Dungy, in Dungy’s estimation, is his Christian faith.
I wonder if that’s as common among Christians as it should be. Jesus says radical things about the place of other relationships in comparison with our relationship with him. He says that unless we hate our life, we will lose it (John 12:25) and unless we hate father, mother, husband, wife, even our children, we can’t follow him (Luke 14:26). Anyone who studies Jesus’ life knows that he doesn’t want you to hate anyone (Matthew 6:43-44). What he wants is for your love for him to be so strong that the most important things in your life pale dramatically in comparison.
I think that is what Tony demonstrated. While he’s proud of his achievements as an African American, he’s even more pleased to bring glory to God as a Christian. He is an inspiration to other Christians, motivating us to make our relationship with Jesus more important than our race, our gifts, our political opinions, our nationality, and our heritage.