There has been quite a buzz about Tim Tebow in recent weeks. Ever since the Broncos named him QB1 Week 6, he has received more scrutiny and attention than any other NFL player I can remember. Early in Denver’s season, Broncos fans chanted for Tim to be given his chance, and if the last weeks have shown us anything, the fans were right. Tebow has been a breath of fresh air for Denver football fans.
But there have been lots of quarterbacks who have also come into the league and quickly accomplished great things, without near the buzz reception Tim has received. What has set Tim apart is the way he consistently outperforms people’s expectations on the field and his consistent mention of his faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. Can you believe it? We’ve got a man taking snaps in Denver with the heart of a football player and an evangelist all rolled into one.
In the days since Tebow-mania started, I’ve seen NFL announcers talking about the importance of faith and read articles about the values Tim’s parents instilled in him. It seems everyone is wondering what makes this kid tick, because there are many who don’t want to believe his relationship with God could be what’s making him so successful. Could it be that God is playing for Tim Tebow the way he fought against Israel’s enemies in the Bible? Well, we don’t know. But it’s possible, I guess.
The Bible does say that God works for the good of His people (Romans 8:28) and for His own glory (Isaiah 42:8). And Tim seems to be one who God can trust with success. Through it all, Tim has stayed grounded and continues to give God credit for his success. He continues to publicly thank God for his abilities and success.
And here’s the secret to Tim’s success. If and when Tim loses, he’ll continue to thank God. Tim knows that he’s already won by putting his trust in Christ. Regardless of what happens on the football field or in life, Tim is a part of the family of God, and you can’t lose when you are on God’s team. We don’t know how long Tim will play football. We don’t know what his career and life holds. But if he continues to pursue Jesus and make Him known, he’ll earn a reward that will outshine any earthly football accolades.
It’s like the old C.T. Studd poem says, “Only one life, ’twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” Whether you play football or sell insurance, what matters in this life is what you do that lasts for eternity. And eternity is all about loving and serving Jesus. Tim gets that. That’s why he talks about his faith after a big win and points people to Jesus in a league where most are pointing people to themselves.
So let’s pray for our brother Tim, remembering he’s just a normal guy who loves Jesus and plays football. Like us, he has an enemy who wants to see him fall. Let’s pray that God would be pleased to continue to give him success on the field, but more importantly success in the ministry to which God has called him. May he continue to have opportunities to make Jesus known. In eternity’s analysis of Tim’s life, the Broncos’ record and game-winning, Tebow-time touchdowns won’t be most important. What will matter most for Tim and each of us will be the times we let our faith and worship overflow in the lives of those around us.
My advice to Tim is similar to a biblical charge to another brother of the same name: “But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:11-12, ESV).