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Why Tony Dungy Strives to ‘Be a Christian All the Time’

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Why Tony Dungy Strives to ‘Be a Christian All the Time’

By Movieguide® Contributor 

Former NFL defensive back and Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dungy joined the “Sports Spectrum Podcast” to discuss when he realized his faith needed to be part of all areas of his life.

Dungy began by describing a valuable lesson his parents taught him as he grew up. 

“They [his parents] talked about being who we are and representing the Dungey family and doing things the way that we were taught no matter what, no matter where,” he explained. “So, as a young person you get that, and that’s not easy when you’re 10, 11, 15. You want to just fit in and be well-liked, but that was their message.”

He later took that lesson and applied it to his NFL career.

“Then I got to the Pittsburgh Steelers as a 21-year-old rookie, and Art Rooney Sr. was our owner,” Dungy described. “And when as a rookie when you made the team, Mr. Rooney invited you in and said congratulations, but then he said something that was really unique.”

Rooney told Dungy and his fellow rookie teammates: 

You’re a Steeler now and we have high expectations of you. You’re going to represent our family. You’re going to represent the football team. You’re going to represent the city and we want you represent it the right way. Because whenever you do anything, from now on it’s not going to be Tony Dungey, but it’s going to be Pittsburgh Steelers Tony Dungey or former Pittsburgh Steeler Tony Dungey. So, that’s a responsibility and we expect you to do that really well.

Years later, Dungy realized he could take that same lesson he learned from his parents and Rooney and apply it to being a Christian. 

“Then a couple of years after that, we had a chapel service, and Tony Evans was our chapel speaker, and he talked about being a Christian all the time,” he said. “He said, ‘I’ve got to be a Christian when I’m at home. I’m a Christian dad. And when I go to the grocery store, I’m a Christian consumer.’ He went on and on. He said, ‘I’m a Christian all the time. How about you? Are you a Christian all the time?'”

For more inspiring sports stories, check out Sports Spectrum.

He took that principle to heart, implementing it throughout his coaching career. Movieguide® reported:

“I made a decision I was going to be different. And not everybody was ready for that,” he added

For Dungy, “different” meant not swearing or yelling at his players and treating them with respect. 

This strategy brought him success. However, he shared with Religion News Services that he gives God the credit, regardless of the circumstances. 

“How is that person going to be when it doesn’t go well? For me, that was always convicting. I have to model my behavior and model my dependence on Christ even when we don’t win,” Dungy told Religion News.

Faith continues to be his foundation for every area of his life.

“I don’t have the strength or wisdom to get through a single day without guidance and grace from God,” he said.

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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