I’m not much of a follower of the NFL. I enjoy the game of football, but I don’t own a TV so I never watch football. But lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of mention of Tim Tebow, the quarterback for the Denver Broncos. The media seems to be hailing Tebow as a miracle QB. I’m not a sports commentator, so I intend to keep my remarks about the game out of this post. Instead I want to talk about two things regarding Tim Tebow. First, his dedication to Jesus Christ in the public arena, and second, the responses from the Christian community.
It seems that for Tim, his faith in Jesus Christ is an all-consuming passion of his life. In fact, his faith in Jesus is such a driving fuel for his life that he’s begun the Tim Tebow Foundation, which clearly and openly states,
“Tim Tebow has been very open about his faith and as a follower of Jesus Christ, has always expressed his gratitude to his Lord and Savior. His faith was the bedrock of his motivation for launching the Foundation.”
For this it seems that Tebow has taken on flack from the Christian community. They criticize him for being so public about his prayers before and after games, and for mentioning Jesus Christ in interviews etc. I find it amazing that so many Christians have problems with this. Here is a man who gives credit to God for everything in his life and yet Christians are criticizing him for it. It has been said that Christians tend to “shoot their own wounded.” In this case, as well as many other cases, they wound and then they shoot.
It would seem that Tebow considers himself a Christian football player, or a Christian who plays football. There’s a world of difference between a Christian who compartmentalizes his life and his faith and a Christian whose life is defined by his faith. Whether on the field or off the field Tebow makes no apologies for his faith. He lives it. For many Americans, Jesus is for Sundays and church potlucks, but not for work, and not for play, and certainly not for the media.
It seems also Tebow, not only takes his faith in Jesus Christ seriously, but he also takes the Word of God seriously. His life verse is Philippians 4:8-9
“whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things… and the God of peace will be with you.”
He’s made it his mission in life to live out these verses, and to make an impact in the world. Here’s a Christian who is not hoarding his money nor wasting it. He knows that football is not everything, but impacting lives with the love of God and for His glory.
The responses from Christians have been puzzling to me. Are they uncomfortable with him being so outspoken about his faith in Jesus Christ? Maybe they’re just uncomfortable about their lack of outspokenness.
When an evangelist was criticized by pastors, he responded by saying, “I’m not perfect, and I’m open to hearing any suggestions as to how I can improve. However, I prefer my way of doing it than your way of not doing it.” Many Christians may criticize Tim Tebow, but I prefer his way of doing it than the critic’s way of not doing it.
“I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God.” (Luke 12:8, NIV)