And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves; for charity shall cover a multitude of sins.–1 Peter 4:8
Football fans have favorite teams, players, and coaches. At different times in my life I’ve had several different “favorite” coaches, but the one I always respected the most was Tom Landry. I think many people would agree. However, not only do we have our favorites, we also have our list of players and coaches that we do not “like” or respect. Heading up my list of people in that category was Woody Hayes, former head coach at Ohio State. Although very knowledgeable and successful as a coach, Hayes was a short-tempered hot-head. During the 1978 Gator Bowl game Coach Hayes lost his temper and slugged a Clemson player on national TV. It cost him his job. He was fired that same day—a “well-deserved firing” most people would say.
Now, back to the “good” guy. Just a few weeks after the shameful act of Coach Hayes, Tom Landry was to speak at a huge banquet, attended by many professional and college football players and coaches. Always the gentleman, Coach Landry asked if he could bring a personal guest, and permission was granted. You guessed it–that guest was none other than Woody Hayes.
That display of compassion for a fallen and disgraced man forever endeared Tom Landry to the hearts of thousands. It showed the world that true love really does “cover a multitude of sins”. Landry was concerned enough to show compassion although it was not deserved. We should be so concerned about aiding in the restoration of those who have fallen. It’s not a matter of whether or not they deserve it, none of us do, it’s a matter of loving people unconditionally—like Christ loved you.