Tim Tebow: Love Him or Hate Him

9 Jan

The most incredible story of this NFL season so far has been the emergence of Tim Tebow, quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Tebow sat on the bench most of his rookie season in 2010, but this year, as the Broncos were mired in a 1-4 start to their season, coach John Fox gave Tebow the starting role. The team responded with 7 wins in 8 games, before dropping their final three games of the regular season. Still the Broncos, part of the mediocre AFC West, edged their way into the playoffs as division champs. Then, yesterday, the Broncos faced the Steelers in the playoffs. After the Broncos jumped out to an early lead, the Steelers rallied, tying the game in the closing minutes. But on the first play of overtime, Tebow hit a receiver across the middle. A stiff-arm and a mad dash to the end zone gave the victory to Denver.

The reason, of course, that I am bringing all of this up on this blog is that Tim Tebow has been something of a lightning rod for discussion for his open declaration of his Christian faith. Tebow’s faith has caused a very strong love/hate relationship to develop among people. Below I have listed some reasons for these sentiments . . .

Why people love Tim Tebow:

1. He is unashamed to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

2. He is quick to give God glory for wins and losses and quick to credit teammates in victory.

3. He seems to be  a person of high moral character.

4. He seems to genuinely care about others and often gives his time to bring blessing to those who are in need.

5. He is a person of great determination, not minding the naysayers who claimed he was incapable of starting as a NFL quarterback.

6. He took a team that with a 1 and 4 record that was going nowhere and led them to the playoffs and a first round victory over the Steelers.

7. He validates evangelical culture in America by giving them a hero who is a success on the field but is also unashamedly a follower of the Lord.

Why people hate Tim Tebow:

1. He is unashamed to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

2. He is quick to bring God into everything, not keeping God confined to a private aspect of his life but seeing God’s involvement in all things.

3. He seems to be a person of high moral character. Some people don’t like people of high moral character. They feel threatened by high character because they know they are flawed. Some even feel that a person of high character automatically feels superior to everyone else and thus looks down on them.

4. He seems too perfect, too good to be true and he gets too much attention.

5. He is not a very good quarterback statistically, yet is treated as such by many fans.

6. Some hate Tebow because of politics. He has stood for the pro-life cause in a Super Bowl ad and is associated with the evangelical culture which leans heavily to the Republican side.

7. Some hate Tebow because they hate Jesus and simply hate everything associated with Tebow because all of it brings them back to Jesus.

In closing, I believe there are a few things to bear in mind as we consider this extraordinary young man.

1. Tim Tebow is human. He sins like the rest of us. He will fail. He is in need of grace just like the rest of us.

2. Tim Tebow is not to be worshiped. As Christians, we must not put our hope in man, but in Jesus. The practice of Tebowing and some of the slogans you see at the game or on the back of a jersey border dangerously close to idolatry, even if done in jest. If Tebow fails in the big game, the cause of Christ is not set back. It is only if he falters in his walk with God that real damage could be done.

3. Tim Tebow is a man we ought to pray for. Certainly, the temptations to pride, greed, sexual immorality and other sins must be enormous for professional athletes. He has tremendous opportunity through the platform he has been given, to bring great glory to God. It is worth praying that he would not get distracted or discouraged or derailed by sin.

However this wild ride turns out, I pray that God will be glorified through the life of this remarkable young man and our response to him.

One Response to “Tim Tebow: Love Him or Hate Him”

  1. Scott Sholar January 9, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    Thanks for sharing and God bless you. I wrote a piece on Tim a few weeks ago: http://scottsholar.com/2011/11/18/not-ashamed-of-the-gospel/

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