In 1986, he became the youngest heavyweight champion in the history of boxing by defeating Trevor Berbick. Mike Tyson’s skill, boxing knowledge, and tenacity made him arguably the most formidable fighter to ever step in a ring. However, this man who possessed such boxing prowess also displayed horrible character deficiency, explosive lack of self-control, and loathsome morality. Within three years of becoming the world heavyweight boxing champion, Tyson married and divorced under the accusation of domestic abuse, broke his hand in a street brawl, wrecked two cars (one of which was labeled a suicide attempt), and fired his trainer.
In early 1990, Tyson lost his championship belt in a stunning upset. The following year he was convicted of rape and spent three years in a federal prison. After his release, Tyson regained the heavyweight title only to lose it again in 1996–this time to Evander Holyfield who came out of retirement to fight the champ. On June 28, 1997, Tyson ended his boxing career in shame during a rematch with Holyfield. During the first round, the crowd turned on Tyson and began chanting Holyfield’s name. In the second round, a head butt opened a cut above Tyson’s right eye. During the third round Tyson lost every ounce of his composure. He spit out his mouthpiece, bit off a piece of Holyfield’s ear, and spit it on to the floor of the ring. Holyfield refused to stop fighting; however, when the match resumed Tyson bit Holyfield’s other ear. This time the referee stopped the fight and disqualified Tyson. Tyson’s life spiraled further downhill after his boxing career ended. Read his story here.
Folks, God only knows how many lives have been ruined or lost through history because of lack of character, morality, and self-control. Romans 3:10-18 contains a stinging synopsis of the unregenerate, unconverted, unredeemed character of man: “There is no one righteous, not even one; . . . no one who seeks God; . . . they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one; . . . ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know; there is no fear of God before their eyes.”
These words describe all of us in one form or another and to one degree or another as long as we live without a real, life-changing, character-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ that brings the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. If you have genuinely repented of your sins and received Jesus by faith, then you know the depth of your depravity, the distance God has brought you, and the difference Christ makes. Now, spend your life helping others experience the same out of shear gratitude to God.
by Jack Manor
"Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as
for me, it is good to be near to God. I have made the Sovereign Lord
my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds" (Ps. 73:27-28).