“Tebowing”

Posted: January 16, 2012 in Life & Times, Random Thoughts
Tags: , , , , ,

All the hype surrounding Tim Tebow is amazing.

Sports analysts are so quick to criticize everything about this man.  He can’t throw accurately, he can’t lead, he can’t play in the NFL. For some reason, he garners up so much controversy.  He recently reached the top of ESPN’s “most popular athlete”, topping LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Tom Brady, and others.  He recently set another record: 9000 tweets/second after another miraculous victory (first round of the ’11 playoffs against Pittsburg).  After the Bronco’s playoff loss vs. Patriots, even despite his 6-0 run, despite  opening-round playoff victory where he passed for over 300 yards, despite his 8-4 record as a starter, one ESPN writer called him “redoubtable”.

But perhaps why he’s so “controversial” is because some people are scared of Tim Tebow.  They don’t know what to do with him.  They’ve rarely met anyone like him.  A virgin, NFL-starting quarterback?  You’d have to remember AC Green of the LA Lakers to match something like that.  A guy who meets with hurting/dying kids before AND after each football game?  A guy who NEVER misses an opportunity to credit Jesus Christ?  A guy who prays before, during, and after the game?  (or as the world calls it “Tebowing”)  Rare? indeed. Mysterious? certainly.  Misunderstood? probably. But wrong?  Absolutely not.

Then, there of course is the Christian community.  Some people “on his own team”, many of them ‘closet Christians’, are even quick to throw his actions back in his face:

Matthew 6:1-6 (NIV) 1 “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

I believe these people mean well. The problem is, the REASON Jesus addressed the religious leaders of the day with this teaching was BECAUSE he knew the motives of their hearts were impure. He knew they were doing it to “showboat”.  They weren’t sincerely offering up their prayers to God.  Let me ask, “Does anyone REALLY know Tim’s heart/motives other than God?”  No.  If you think you do, that’s quite a presumption.

The truth is, Tim was doing this long before the spotlight hit him.  He’s been praying and inviting God’s presence on many fields: from the ‘Swamp’ at the University of Florida, to Africa where he served in the mission field, to the NFL.  He’s been giving credit to God at press conferences in college.  Now that he’s on a bigger stage, he’s just under more scrutiny.

As a pastor, I pray on my “field”. I pray on the “sidelines” before I take the stage.  I pray on the “50-yard line” during my sermon.  I pray when my team “scores” at a new believer’s baptism–giving glory to God.  Am I not authentic?  Should I get equal criticism?

So, go on Tim. Do your thing.  If God desires to use you to stand on a public stage unashamed of your faith, so be it.  If God grants success and more opportunities to allow people to know WHY you are successful, so be it.  If you have lucrative contracts that allow you to help more kids & families in your foundation, Amen!  If you fail and are ushered out of the starting lineup and out of favor with the press, don’t STOP!

We need more Christ-followers like you!

Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV) 14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Romans 1:16 (NIV) 16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

1 Peter 2:11-12 (NIV) 11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

I’d rather see 1 outspoken Christ-follower than ten “inward-focused” ones.  You have a life that I envy.  I use this to challenge myself.  Do people I meet know what I stand for and who I stand with?  Do I pass up opportunities to promote or talk about Jesus Christ?  Have I ever been ashamed to talk about what I do?  Am I an “alien” of this world by how I’m living?

I hope I’m as “controversial” as Tim Tebow.  I hope I stand out and make others take notice like he does. I hope I demonstrate compassion as radically.

At least people know what “Tebowing” is.

What is Bloodworthing?

1 Corinthians 11:1 (NIV)  “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.”

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