Inside the boxing ring

Tertullian’s full name was Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus. That sound like a scientific name for a Martian beast. Nevertheless, Tertullian contribution to the Church of Christ cannot be gainsaid. Tertullian had something to tell the persecutors of Christians.

“But carry on, good officials. You will become much better in the eyes of the people if you will sacrifice the Christians for them. Torture us! Your iniquity is the proof of our innocence. For this reason, God permits us to suffer these things…..Yet tour tortures accomplish nothing, though each is more refined than the last; rather they are an enticement to our religion. We become more every time we are hewn down by you: the blood of Christians seed..”

He was also the man who argued against combative sports. He was totally against anything violent. As a matter of fact, there have been unending debates on whether Christians should participate in boxing or not. Is it okay for Christians to either participate in or support boxing and martial arts? That is the question that has bogged many in Christian circles. 

It is interesting to note that we have had boxers who profess Christianity. George Foreman, the former World Heavyweight champion, has narrated his experience in the dressing room after a thorough beating from Jimmy Young. Evander Holyfield also a former heavyweight champion has also shown a strong Christian faith and always added Philippians 4:13 to his autographs. The list romps in Manny Pacquiao too.

Just like St. Paul in I Corinthians 9:26, I am not writing a theology of boxing but rather using the sporting analogy to make a point about Christian life.

What constitutes a successful boxer?

Most of us agree that to be a successful boxer (Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, Rocky Marciano……name them…….) is no mean task. There are three key personalities one will need to make it in the ring of life, just as it is in the case of boxing. They are the trainer, the manager and promoter.

The trainer will ensure that you are adequately equipped for the challenge; by building on your strength and helping you improve on your weak areas. He will encourage you to stretch beyond the natural limits, cheer you on as you hit the gymnasium and correct you when you miss the point. Trainers are people to keep for they are rare to come by.

The manager will speak for you, help you seek out competitions and opportunities, help you identify loopholes and seal them, and overall keep a watchful eye on your progress while helping create necessary networks. Managers are sent from heaven, for very few can do their work.

A promoter will pick you from the crowd as a talent. His work is to scout for talents, pick them from the crowd and crown them with highly paid matches. Always thank God for the people who picked you from the drudgery and nurtured you to become who you are.

A boxer’s work is to diligently collaborate with the three key persons. Consistently, persistently and insistently follow their advice.

With time, we are supposed to mature or rather grow into trainers, managers and promoters.

Sorry to say that sometimes we can end up with clueless trainers, poor managers and selfish promoters. This means we must ask God to divinely connect us to the right people.

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