Boxing legend and entrepreneur George Foreman recently spoke with the Christian Post to discuss his upcoming biopic Big George Foreman. During the discussion, Foreman went in depth about the importance of his Christian faith, and what he considers to be the most valuable of any of his significant achievements.
“You come to a point in your life and you realize the only important thing in your life is to be an evangelist,” Foreman told the Post.
“‘Evangelistic’ is the word that has been so powerful to me in my life. If something happened to me tomorrow,” he continued, “I know I’ve done a good job, and I’m happy about that, trying to spell out to the world, ‘Jesus Christ has come alive in me.'”
Foreman’s life has taken many different turns, having started in professional boxing only to leave it behind to take on the life of a preacher before once again stepping back into the ring many years later.
Oh, and let’s not forget his impact on the world of grills either.
The upbringing of young George Foreman could have taken him in many directions, not all of them positive. He had a troubled upbringing surrounded by poverty and violence, but overcame it to have a shining moment winning gold in boxing during the Olympic Games in 1968.
However, his life would hit an all-time low after he retired from boxing and he suffered a near-death experience in 1977. While this would be an all-time low, it was also the moment Foreman explains that he was given a second chance and found Jesus Christ.
Foreman detailed, ““I was dead. There was nothing left of me.”
“I stared at nothingness, no hope. I was pulled out of this dirty place, and given a second chance to live. That has kept me grounded,” he relayed.
Following this near-death awakening, Foreman went on to become a pastor and founded The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in 1980. However, Foreman made a controversial and heavily publicized decision to get back into the ring almost a full decade later, this time though he was able achieve what many considered to be an impossible goal for the 45-year-old boxer by becoming the oldest heavy weight champion of the world, ever.
“So many people helped me in my life. I didn’t know that,” Foreman continued. “I thought I was doing so much… but there are so many good people in my life.”
“I was given so much advice from so many different people, and it’s a matter of trusting. Trust that people will give you advice. Listen when they have something to tell you. And I think that is the key to all the riches in the world, is listening to people who care about you,” he said.
Beyond that, the 74-year-old Foreman emphasized that above all, he believes that God has always been in full control of his life.
“In hindsight, [God’s faithfulness] was all over my life, period,” he added. “There I was, a thief, on my way to jail, underneath a house, hiding from the police, covering myself from head to toe with slop. I heard their voices, and I knew then I’d have to change things. I didn’t want to be a thief. I didn’t want to be a criminal. And that was a big change for me. And of course, learning how to box and go as far as I could with boxing. But still, I did all of that without the knowledge of God.”
Foreman elaborated that “It doesn’t matter what you achieve, what you accomplish in this life. The most important thing is to keep your eye on the true prize, and that’s serving God.”
“Find God, have faith in God. It doesn’t matter what happened, believe all things are possible. Don’t ever give up on the possibility and your life can be turned and changed for the better,” he advised.
He would also reveal that Psalm 1:1 is a passage of Scripture he uses to guide his life. The Scripture reads, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in company with scoffers.”
In conclusion, Foreman said, “I look back at that movie, and it tells the story of someone coming from nowhere and receiving everything possible in this life. And the greatest thing that this life can offer is the chance for everlasting life, finding God, and that’s what I found.”
Big George Foreman: The Miraculous Story of the Once and Future Heavyweight Champion of the World is in theaters across the country now.