1 Timothy 4: 12 – Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
In my 40 some years as a sports fan, I have never heard, seen, or read as much, in such a short amount of time, as I have about Tim Tebow. For those of you who may not know, Tim Tebow is a 2nd year quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) with the Denver Broncos. I have been thinking through all that I have heard, seen, and read about this young man and I wanted to share a few insights that seem appropriate in this venue.
LOVE TO HATE HIM – It seems to me that a majority of those who have the floor, so to speak, hate Tim Tebow. I have never heard sportscasters spew such vitriol towards such a seemingly harmless guy. They hate it when he wins, they hate it when he loses, they hate it that he gets publicity, they hate it that he makes a difference because, “he is not that good,” and they hate it that his teammates and coaches think he is great!
And it is not only the sportscasters. I recently read an article about Tebow that had 155 readers’ comments. Out of those 155 comments, 10 were neutral, 20 were positive, and 125 or 80% were negative. Many of them mocked Tebow personally and many mocked his faith. This is only one sampling, but it seems that 8 out of 10 are not in favor of Tim.
Tebow’s response to all this; he is humble and gracious win or lose, he says he has a lot to learn about playing in the pros, and he gives the credit to the Lord, his teammates, and his coaches. SO, what is the big deal and why should I care? Here are three things to think about.
- HE IS FAVORED BY GOD – What if God really favors Tim Tebow? It wouldn’t be the first time that God favored someone. We read in Scripture how God favored Noah, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Jacob, Joseph, Ruth, David, Solomon, Mary, the apostles, etc… Think about the battles won against overwhelming odds, the miracles performed for individuals and nations, and the blessings beyond belief or measure. God definitely favors those He chooses to favor.
But, does God really favor anyone today? Yes, look in the mirror! If you were born and live in the USA you have been favored and blessed in many ways. If you are a believer, you are favored by God in ways that are beyond belief, amazing, and are both present and future in nature. From what I can tell, Tim Tebow has been favored by God, and I think that really, really irritates some people.
- HE SEEMS TO PRACTICE WHAT HE “PREACHES” – Some years back an NFL player was given publicity about his fine moral character, his Christianity, his example to his teammates and his city. The next week he was caught soliciting a prostitute while in a different city. His team lost the next game and he faded from the limelight. For the past several years, Tebow has acted like he is Christian, both on and off the field. He says he never asks God to win a game, only to do his best.
He does not use God as a “good luck charm” and would discourage anyone to do so. Over and over again his life and what he says match up. He is humble and gracious whether he wins or loses. And he has had his share of winning. While in college he quarterbacked two teams that won the national championships. He won one Heisman award and came in second twice. This year he took a team that was 1 – 4 and won 7 of the next 11 games on route to putting Denver in the playoffs. They won their 1st playoff game in dramatic fashion and got crushed in the 2nd game.
When asked how he felt about the crushing loss to New England, he said that he likes to win more than lose, but that he learned a lot and he looked forward to getting better. He thanked the Lord for the abilities he had, he talked about making the playoffs when no one thought they would, he said he would be working hard during the off-season, and he mentioned how happy he was to be on the team.
NO WONDER THEY HATE HIM, CAN HE REALLY BE THIS NICE???
Then he talked about how he visited a young football player who had been paralyzed and how they shared some time together before the game. He shared how this young man told Tim that it the best day of his life because they shared time together! Tebow then said that it was hard to be upset when you have made somebody’s best day of their life.
- WHAT WE CAN DO AS FELLOW BELIEVERS – I believe the Lord has each one of His children placed where He wants them. You and I have a responsibility as believers to glorify and honor God no matter what we do. (Colossian 3: 17, 23) God has a job for each of us to do and it just so happens that some jobs are higher profile than others. Whether a doctor, lawyer, teacher, butcher, baker, or candle stick maker we all should do EVERYTHING to God’s glory! Tim Tebow is an example for us to follow!
But beyond our personal responsibility to glorify God in everything we do, I believe we should pray for this young man of the Lord. He is in a very, very high profile position and he has people attacking him, tempting him, and doing all they can to discredit him and Our Lord. We should pray for him as he strives to be an example of what it is to be a child of God. Praying for him does not take away from anyone else who is a true believer and it doesn’t mean that you are a Denver Broncos fan. It is something small we can do as faithful servants to help another faithful servant.
Sincerely and in Christ,