By now we all know how Super Bowl 50 turned out. Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10. The domination displayed by the Bronco’s defense was much more visible on the field than it was on the scoreboard. Many are talking about the half time show, Peyton’s retirement plans, and how Denver’s defense shut down the best offense in the league effortlessly. However, the post-game interview of Cam Newton seemed to get as much attention as all other facets of the Super Bowl. After being defeated in the biggest game on the biggest stage, Newton’s response to questions by reporters was less than friendly. Many took note of his uninterested answers and were shocked that this once prancing, dabbing enthusiast was now sulking in a grand fashion.
Monday morning some interesting information came out regarding Cam Newton’s post-game interview. The Denver Bronco’s cornerback Chris Harris was being interviewed right next to Cam Newton. Harris was loudly voicing how the plan to shut down Cam and the Panthers played out perfectly. Perhaps Harris’ overheard boasting was frustrating Cam through the interview. The background noise got to him. People watching the interview on TV did not see or hear Harris, but they saw the result of Cam giving in to the irritation of the background noise.
Christians face a similar temptation every day. While we are called to be salt and light in the world (Mt. 5:13-16), and rejoicing should be our common practice (Phil. 4:4; 1 Thess. 5:16); sometimes the background noise of life squeezes out our joy. We cannot influence the lost to buy into the riches of being in Christ if we appear to be spiritually bankrupt ourselves (cf. Eph. 1:3). There are different types of background noise for each individual. For some, the background noise is financial trouble: the bills are piling and there seems to be no way to ever catch up (Mt. 6:24-34). Then there is the background noise of health issues: one may begin to feel helpless, as if perfect health will never be a reality for them (3 John 1:2). Still others may hear the loud background noise of sexual temptation, spiritual doubt, family troubles, or worldliness (James 4:4, 7-8). Like Cam Newton, we too will wear the sour look of being overwhelmed by the background noise if we’re not careful.
We need to trust in the promises of God in the midst of all the background noise of life. God has a perfect track record of faithfulness and keeping his promises (2 Cor. 1:20; Heb. 6:18). When the background noise tries to ring loud in our ears, we must reply louder with the truths of scripture (Mt. 4:4). We need to ignore the unimportant. Jesus often ignored things in life; like when people asked him dishonest questions or when certain things were not worth entertaining (Mt. 15:14; Jn. 8:6). Solomon advises that some things are not worth an answer (Pr. 26:4). Background noise can be overcome by simply ignoring its presence at times. Many things in this life want to derail and distract the Christian, but we need to be so focused that we are not easily tripped up (2 Tim. 2:4).
Cam Newton lost a football game and the respect of a lot of people with the way he handled the defeat in the press conference. Many had no clue about the background noise he was dealing with. We need to be careful with how we treat others, because there’s no telling what background noise they are dealing with (Mt. 7:1-5; Jas. 5:19-20). Most people don’t need our two cents or sarcasm, they need a shoulder to lean on. People don’t need us to rub their failure in their face—they see it clearer than we do already—they simply need a helping hand to show them that failure is not final.
For the Christian, all the noise and clamor in the background can be drowned out with the triumphal music of Christ (Rev. 15:3). We, unlike Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers, are ultimately victors. Our victory is found in Christ (Jn. 16:33; 1 Jn. 5:4). It really doesn’t matter what the faulty scoreboard of this life may read or how loud the trash talk of the enemy over life’s intercom is. Don’t let the background noise of life deceive you or distract you. If you listen to anyone let it be Jesus: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him” (Mt. 17:5).