This is my first post on Tim Tebow. Honestly, I simply haven’t known what to say! Personally, I’m torn about him as a quarterback (although he’s starting to make me look foolish when I say things like, “Don’t you need to be consistently accurate to be a good quarterback in the NFL?”), I don’t know many who could even attempt to question his character.
Especially after his latest come-from-behind victory against the Chicago Bears, bringing the Bronco’s to a 7-1 record as their starting QB, it seems that Tebow-mania is in full swing. I’ve been holding off on writing about Tebow until now, but since he seems all the rage I figured it was time to put some thoughts to writing.
So far, Tebow is a living example of Titus 2:7-8
“In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”
Here’s what I love about Tebow:
- He seems so genuine. I don’t know him personally, but I haven’t yet heard of anyone who does know him from college coming out from the woodwork saying that he’s a phony. If he’s a phony or a hypocrite, surely someone would’ve surfaced by now to let us know.
- He’s not ashamed to give Jesus the glory. Sure, you can debate whether or not he should “tone things down” about his faith, but everyone knows what he believes. I frequently cringe when musicians give Jesus the glory for their Grammy (often, for a song that glorifies violence, sex, or drug-use), but when Tebow does it he seems totally genuine and humble.
- He’s a great role model to look up to. When we look around at people who are frequently named in magazines and the news, Tebow stands out among the rest. In the midst of our fascination of all things “Rich and Famous,” Tebow stands out for being so drastically different and mysterious. He keeps on winning, even though he shouldn’t. He doesn’t fit the mold for anything. He doesn’t really fit into any box that anyone tries to squeeze him into.
- He wins, and he inspires those around him to win. It’s not always pretty, but he wins even when the odds are stacked against him and people are hoping that he fails. I’m not so certain that he’s “God’s Quarterback,” but he doesn’t give up when others would. People point to the Bronco’s defense as the reason why they’ve started winning, but they have the same defense they had when they were losing all those games before Tebow started as QB. Not only does Tebow win, he makes those around him winners too!
Here are a few things I’m concerned about:
- Idolatry. I’m not concerned that Tebow would become an idolater as much as I’m concerned that he’d become an idol. Criticizing Tebow’s form or game-performance is fair, but there are some Christians out there who refuse to hear it. Tebow points to Jesus, not himself – let’s follow his lead.
- Persecution & Tebow. I’ve heard people say that Tebow is being persecuted for being so vocal about his faith. Persecution is intentional harm done to someone because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Gossip and slander isn’t persecution unless they bring about actual harm to the person. So far, I simply don’t see any cause for making Tebow a martyr.
- Failure. If Tebow fails, will my faith in Christ be shaken? No… but I fear that many people could be placing faith in Tebow that doesn’t belong there. If he fails as a NFL Quarterback or if he fails morally, we will be disappointed, but we should be careful to not place our faith in Tebow but in Christ.
I’m not convinced that God is making Tebow win. If you watch the games and know a bit about football you can see a lot of things seem to happen for Tebow late in the fourth quarter that he’s capitalized on. He’s a good, smart football player. Do I think it’s possible that God has chosen to give Tebow success so that Christ would receive the glory? It’s possible. The Gospel Coalition posted a fantastic article written by Owen Strachan today on this very issue, please take a few minutes to read it (yes, it’s very theological, so it’s not really “casual reading,” but it’s a great article to chew on): “Tebow, Calvin, and the Hand of God in Sports”
If you haven’t watched the video embedded above, do yourself a favor and take two minutes to watch it. Bob Costas did an excellent job highlighting Tebow in a very honoring and fair way. The script to what he wrote can be found here.
The most clever article I’ve read on Tebow comes from Jason Gay in the Wall Street Journal, “What Tim Tebow Can’t Do.” Here’s an excerpt:
Despite all of these issues, people still like Tim Tebow, which is mystifying. It’s as if they can’t recognize his flaws. They’re blinded by hype. They’re willfully ignorant. They want to believe in a myth.
One day they will see all of Tim Tebow’s shortcomings. How he’s never once sang O Canada at a Vancouver Canucks game. How he’s never captured a live dinosaur. How he’s too chicken to run for President.
Tim Tebow never, ever makes everybody happy. He can’t really do anything besides win football games. Since when did anyone care about that?
Here are two more good Tebow posts I’ve come across: