Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud is thanking Jesus Christ for His many blessings following his team’s 23-19 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on January 6.

The victory clinched the Texans a spot in the NFL playoffs – their first since 2019.

In a post-game interview, a teary-eyed Stroud said, “[Going to the playoffs] is a blessing. I can’t do nothing but thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Stroud mentioned the difficulties that his team has overcame this season, adding, “I’m just blessed enough to be the vessel that Christ picked to lead this great franchise. So, I can do nothing but thank the Lord.”

Stroud shared that prior to the game, he had written various Bible verses, and drew a cross, on his wristband.

He shared that the team’s victory wasn’t due to his efforts alone. “It’s not me, it’s my teammates. My linemen. My receivers running great routes. My running backs doing their job. My tight end. Our defense,” he said. “It’s not just me out there.”

You can watch the full clip of Stroud’s interview below:

Stroud’s reflexive reaction to credit his team for their victory illustrates his good leadership and emulates the humility of his Savior.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:3-8, ESV).

You can tell the quality of a leader by how they handle praise and criticism. In his bestseller Good to Great, researcher and author Jim Collins writes about the “mirror/window model” of leadership.

The best leaders display humility – the secret ingredient to “Level 5 Leadership,” in Collins’ analysis. They “look out the window to apportion credit to factors outside themselves when things go well (and if they cannot find a specific person or event to give credit to, they credit good luck),” Collins writes. “At the same time, they look in the mirror to apportion responsibility, never blaming bad luck when things go poorly.”

Poor leaders do the opposite, assigning themselves credit for success – and then blaming others for mistakes and missteps.

As the 2024 elections near, perhaps humility is a leadership quality voters should consider before casting their ballots. Ask yourself whether the candidate you’re supporting models Christ-like leadership.

One’s character used to be of immense importance to early Americans.

In the second year of the Revolutionary War, Ensign Leehaynsious Dekeyser of the Virginia Regiment was arrested, tried, and unanimously declared guilty for breaching the twenty-third Article, fifteenth Section of War.

His crime?

Ensign Dekeyser had cheated at a card game.

A court found that the soldier had “acted inconsistently with the character of a Gentlemen, and scandalously for an Officer; whose character should be preserved by the nicest rules of Honour.”

At that time, the commander of the Virginia Regiment was none other than General George Washington. On Jan. 8, 1765, he used the scandal as an opportunity to address his officers and exhort them to live honorably and with character.

Washington reminded his officers,

I would therefore earnestly recommend, in every point of Duty; willingness to undertake, and intrepid resolution to execute.

Remember, that it is the actions, and not the commission, that make the Officer – and that there is more expected from him than the Title.

Do we take our conduct – and the conduct of those we elect – as seriously in our day?

We would do well to heed the Indispensable Man’s advice – and consider every candidate’s humility and character (or lack thereof) before casting our votes this year.

If an NFL quarterback can lead with humility, how much more so should the president of these United States?

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Related articles and resources:

Texans’ Quarterback C.J. Stroud Gives Thanks for God’s Grace, ‘My Foundation is My Faith’

New Texans Head Coach: ‘Jesus Christ is Who Matters Most’

Photo from Getty Images.