Cool and Successful
David Beckham’s best and happiest years in football, by his own admission, were with Manchester United. With United he won six Premier League titles and two FA cups. He played 115 times for England – more than any other outfield player and captained his country 59 times. (1) He also played for Real Madrid and in North America, LA Galaxy. There’s no shortage of stats, stories or posters of David Beckham. Of course, the fact that he married Victoria (Posh), one of the famous Spice Girls, did not hurt his celebrity status either. Posh and Becks (as their friends call them) have four children and, by all accounts, they are great parents.
Rich and Famous
Beckham’s success as a footballer coupled with his fashion and design exploits have put their net worth at over $300 million or 190 million pounds. (2) And yes, he is good friends with other stars and also with Prince William to name a few.
Signals and Messages on Body
This legendary footballer (or soccer if you are in North America) and fashion icon has as many as twenty tattoos on his body, including some to honor his wife Victoria and his four children. But there’s also evidence that Beckham has thoughts about the eternal and about Christ. One tattooed Chinese motif translated says: “Death and life have determined appointments. Riches and honor depend upon Heaven.” On his side he wears one called ‘The Man of Sorrows’; it depicts Jesus thinking about His death on the Cross. His body art also includes a crucifix, a guardian angel and Jesus being raised from the tomb surrounded by cherubs that represent his children. In Hebrew, he has tatted a verse from the Bible’s Song of Songs. (3)
Lack of Spiritual Clarity and Certainty
Despite the obvious nature of some of the tattoos, David Beckham seems to be sadly lacking spiritual clarity and certainty. Of one thing he seems to be certain: in an interview with Esquire (4) he said there was no truth to the rumor that he was interested in his good friend Tom Cruise’s Scientology belief system. But when asked if he believed in God, Beckham said: “People look at my tattoos and the majority of them are religious images, so people think, ‘Oh, he must be very religious’. I respect all religions but I’m not a deeply religious person. But I try to live life in a right way, respecting other people. I wasn’t brought up in a religious way but I believe there’s something out there that looks after you.” The reporter said ‘he went on a bit’ and then said:”Everyone has their beliefs.”
When Beckham’s first son was born, Beckham said: “I definitely want Brooklyn to be christened but I don’t know into what faith yet.” (5)
Five Reflections on Beckham’s Spirituality
1. Appointment with Death. One of Beckham’s tattoos says: “death and life have determined appointments.” That’s 100% accurate according to the Bible. We were born for an appointed purpose and that was not to become rich and famous but rather to ‘glorify God’. (Psalm 86:9) Appointed to live but the Bible also says: “It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.” Hebrews 9:27. In light of God’s eternity, it is reckless to remain in a spiritual fog and uncertainty given the appointment with death we all must face. Are things any clearer for you than for Mr. Beckham?
2. God is real. Beckham believes there must be something out there that looks after us – but seems unwilling to say: “I believe in God.” Maybe you are reluctant to state this belief as well. There are solemn implications for you if you acknowledge the existence of God.
3. Many beliefs but one truth. Mr. Beckham said, and it’s true, ‘everyone has their beliefs.’ Centuries ago many sincerely believed the world was flat. There are many beliefs but only one truth. Jesus Himself claimed to be ‘the way, the truth, and the life’ and He clearly said: ‘No one comes to the Father (God) but by Me.’ John 14:6. That’s either true of false. How can you have any respect for Jesus, knowing He made such an audacious and exclusive claim that you happen to believe is false and offensive? Are you willing today to acknowledge that there is only one truth and that truth is Jesus Christ alone?
4. Jesus Christ. Beckham has body art depicting The Man of Sorrows – Jesus Christ. 750 years before Jesus came to earth and was born in Bethlehem, He was called The Man of Sorrows in Isaiah Chapter 53. Why such a name? Because Jesus would become the object of ridicule as He went to the Cross to die for your sins and mine. “Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:6 Read the entire chapter 53 of Isaiah, a part of which is quoted below.
5. Satan is real. Not that christening would do anything spiritually for his son, but Beckham’s dilemma was he didn’t know which faith to choose for the ritual. Such uncertainty. Such confusion. Such indecisiveness and such lack of clarity. Satan loves to keep people in the fog or rather in the dark. (2Corinthians 4:4) Is he doing his best to keep you in the fog and darkness of confusion?
The Bottom Line Is
God wants you to be sure and certain about this life and about where you will be in eternity. He wants you to have your sins forgiven through His Son Jesus Christ. He wants you to know for sure you have eternal life and that Heaven will be your eternal destination.
The Apostle Paul in 2Timothy 1:12 said: “I know whom I have believed…” The Apostle John wrote in 1John 5:13: “You may know you have eternal life.” Such clarity! Such certainty!
My prayer for Mr. Beckham is that he will trust Christ as his personal Saviour. At that point, some of his body art will take on profound personal meaning. And beyond a life of football and fashion, he will find his deepest fulfilment in a personal relationship with God. That is also my prayer for you. If you would like to discuss this further, email me by clicking here.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.
(1) Esquire, September, 2012, David Beckham, Not on the Team, Still in the Game, Alex Bilmes, p.172
In Memory of Mark Ussher
The above story is dedicated to the memory of my friend Mark Ussher, who was a Manchester United fan and often mentioned David Beckham. Mark lost his battle with cancer on September 02, 2012 at the age of 41. When Mark was 27, he trusted Christ as his personal Saviour. Mark is now with the Lord.