I will be the first person to admit that I am a member of Tebow-mania. I love the guy. Big fan. In fact the weekend before Christmas I made it my personal mission to find his book. This is perhaps the stupidest decision I have ever made. The thing was sold out absolutely everywhere. Lifeway, Target (x2), Walmart (x2), Barnes and Noble…EVERYWHERE! I could not find this book. Everywhere I went I found Colt McCoy’s book and Tony Dungy’s book, but no Tebow. Why, I asked myself, is Tim Tebow so popular? It must be because he’s the first openly Christian football player! Oh wait…no, no, that’s not it because Colt is a Christian also. It must be because he’s a phenomenal quarterback? Eh…probably not.
So why are people so obsessed with Tim Tebow? (besides, of course, his rugged good looks and southern charm) He’s not the first athlete to pray on the sidelines or know Bible verses.
I feel nothing but sympathy for the guy. He doesn’t do anything out of the ordinary to garner all this attention. He’s just trying to live his life and play his game to the best of his ability. Oh ya, and he loves Jesus while he does it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. He doesn’t shove his relationship with Christ down anyone’s throat, he’s not obnoxious about it. He’s just loving Jesus and playing football.
The problem comes when his super insane fans claim that God is winning these football games for Tim. I tend to think that God has bigger things to worry about than whether the Broncos make it to the Super Bowl. I think if we asked Tim Tebow this, he would concur. Not once has this man said God won the game for him. He would tell you that God blessed him with the skills and the ability to play football and in that sense, ya I guess God does help. But then why does Troy Polamalu lose? He’s also a Christian. He prays before games too. Is he not as strong a Christian as Tebow? I don’t think that’s it at all.
Unfortunately Tim Tebow has become a victim of, what I like to refer to as ‘ministry major over spiritualization syndrome’ I attended a private Christian college and received a bachelors degree in children’s ministry, so I have had my fair share of religion classes with other religion students. ‘Ministry major over spiritualization syndrome’ runs rampant in these classes. Basically it’s giving God credit for absolutely everything that goes on. Now don’t get me wrong. I know God is with us at absolutely every point in our day, but he gave us free will and with that free will God allows us to handle some stuff on our own. Things like ‘God let all the stoplights be green so i could get to Starbucks before my 8:00 class’ or ‘I accidentally overslept but my class was canceled so I wasn’t counted absent‘ are things that I don’t think God had too much of a hand in. I’m not going to say that God doesn’t work in this world. He does. All the time. But I’m a firm believer that God gives us opportunities in life and it’s up to us to decide if we’re going to use them for his glory or for our own worldly recognition and pleasure. I don’t think God is up in the sky using me as a puppet to do his will. I think he hopes I use my opportunities and do all I can to bring him glory even in mundane tasks. I think he’s got the same plan for Tim Tebow. He’s not giving him magical powers to win a football game. He’s blessed him with the skills to get as far as he has and has given him an incredible platform to share his faith story.
That’s why I’m a Tebow fan. Not because I think he’s the ‘chosen one’ but because I look at him and I see the real deal. I see a guy who’s in love with Jesus and doesn’t care if people know. He’s living his walk just like the rest of us. He has, however, been given a much bigger stage than the average Christ follower like myself. All eyes, Christian and non, are on him. And he’s doing an incredible job standing firm in his beliefs, if i do say so myself. How he stays humble and grounded through all this popularity, be it positive or not, is a sign of his faith and his strong reliance on God in his life. He’s using what God has given him and giving it right back by being an example of a true Christian life. And THAT is why I’m a Tim Tebow fan.
If the Broncos lose to New England on Saturday he’s still going to be Tim Tebow the Christian football player.
God will still love him. And so will I.
- One Christian Blogger’s confession: I’m Embarrassed by Tim Tebow (rabbittrails.net)
- Tim Tebow Is the Role Model Americans Need, but Not the One We Deserve (bleacherreport.com)