Last week, we looked at Roman Reigns, WWE’s golden boy, who earned a title shot at Wrestlemania based purely on having the look and the pedigree, though many thought he lacked the talented needed to be the company’s top dog.
Well that chapter of his story ended in tragedy. Because the fans were so irate, there had to be a change of plans. At WrestleMania, instead of Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, who’d been in the company for the same amount of time but was seen by the fans as far more talented, walked away with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and the fans cheered on, happy that anyone but Roman Reigns was champion.
Imagine what that must have felt like for Roman Reigns. The biggest opportunity of his life was taken from him, he got no acceptance from the fans who he wrestles for, and he’s back at square one, with no title shot in the foreseeable future. It would have been easy to give up at this point.
In fact, many superstars have given up when they reached that point. Jack Swagger had talent and a run at the top, but fans thought he wasn’t good enough so they took it from him and he’s faded into obscurity ever since. Zack Ryder fought for a mini-push and with the fans behind him they gave him one, but as soon as the push stopped he accepted his place at the bottom of the company. Wade Barrett and the Nexus in 2010 were riding high until a loss to John Cena caused fans to lose respect for them and none of them have really made a whole lot out of their careers.
Roman Reigns stood at a crossroads. He knew that in this day and age that if the fans wouldn’t accept him the company would never try to put him on top again.
And then, Roman Reigns got better. He pushed himself to the limit. He had great match after great match, even against people who haven’t worked a great match in years. He improved his microphone work, and suddenly, less and less people booed him, and more and more people cheered for him. And eventually, people started to say “You know, he deserves the championship.” Suddenly, he became one of those guys I mentioned last week who really worked hard for the company.
Now Roman Reigns sits as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, not because he has the look, but because he worked hard to make himself the best he could be.
Too often, we as Christians try to get by on our walk on our looks. We post on Facebook about how we read the Bible that day, we tell everyone which church we go to, we go to Passion and tell everyone how amazing of an experience it was whether they care or not, and there’s nothing inside to show for it.
God doesn’t care how many meetings we go to, and God doesn’t want us to spend all our time with God out in the open, where everyone can see it, but He wants us to love Him even if no one were to know it.
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they maybe praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
If we’re doing something in Jesus’ name so others will see it, are we really doing it in Jesus’ name? God knows our intentions, and he knows if we truly have been working hard for our faith behind the scenes. Just something to think about.