We’ve seen it a hundred times over… athletes celebrating victory after victory praising the name of God. KurtWarner, Derek Fisher, Mariano Rivera, Sam Bradford, Josh Hamilton: All winners,all men adored by fans and media, allmen who gave the glory to God. Perhaps they were raised up so that in their moments of triumph, God might be glorified.
But then there’s Tim Tebow. A man who does more than just give God credit at the end of a game. He lives his faith OUT LOUD in every way possible. If there ever was a player to be lifted up, gifted to win Super Bowl after Super Bowl it would be him. If God so desired, Tim Tebow could be his evangelist to millions. The problem is, Tim Tebow is failing as a quarterback in the NFL. Give him two or three more starts and he may be heading to a broadcast booth near you. What did Tebow do wrong? Is there some sin that must be confessed, some greater proclamation that needs to be made? If God lifts up athletes for His glory why then is the face of Christian athletics doing so poorly?
Perhaps I can share a view that I know is contrary to all that we have seen and heard in Christian sports. What if God gets more glory inTim Tebow’s failure than in his victories? Turn on ESPN, you can hear talk show host after talk show host butcher Tebow’s game and throwing ability. Immediately following it though they talk about how he is not a fake but instead a man who genuinely believes in Jesus. If Tebow won a championship his God praising sound bite would last all of a few seconds. With his humiliation and demise his character and faith are discussed constantly. Could God have raised Tim Tebow up to fail epically in the NFL so that Tebow’s faith might be seen clearly? Certainly.
Paul would teach this principle from his own life “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Worldly success has never been the benchmark of God’s favor. How many disciples of Jesus died as rich and powerful men? How many died in humiliation?
I hope Tim Tebow goes on and has a spectacular career, but if he doesn’t I hope that barrage of comments continues. I hope that he continues to be a lightning rod in the media so that his faith under trial might be seen clearly.