Tim Tebow “Controversy”

December 6, 2011

Did you hear the big controversy surrounding Denver Broncos quarterback, Tim Tebow?

It was covered on the O’Reilly Factor and other major television news outlets.  An arrest warrant was issued last week for failing to pay his child support- no wait, that was Terrell Owens.  Was he arrested for murder, then released for being in the company of a group that stabbed a guy to death?  No.  That was Baltimore Ravens All Pro, Ray Lewis.  Tebow wasn’t even involved in “making it rain” in a strip joint like Pacman Jones.

Tim Tebow’s “controversy” is that he gives glory to God, goes down on one knee after scoring (Now called “Tebowing”), and he talks about his love for Christ publicly.  It’s not that Tebow thinks that God favors the Broncos over the Titans or any other NFL team.  It’s just that Tebow believes that if he is able to do anything good in this life, it’s simply because God gave him the ability to do it and he wants to always remember that.  It’s actually a humble act in his mind and heart of giving God the glory.

Tebow is human and like everyone, he has his faults.  That is perhaps never more obvious than in his college team of choice-the Florida Gators.  (If he was totally following God, he most likely would have played college ball for the Tennessee Vols but that’s another story.  God has forgiven him for that.)   Most likely, his deep rooted convictions will keep him on the path that many young men with sudden wealth and fame of pro sports fall victim to.

One of his critics has been fellow NFL quarterback, Jake Plummer.  Plummer recently said, “i wish he’d just shut up after a game and go hug his teammates.”

Yet another NFL quarterback, Aaron Rogers, claiming to be a devout believer, recently spoke about the issue on ESPN.  He said, “I feel like my stance and my desire has always been to follow a quote from St. Francis of Assisi who said, ‘Preach the gospel at all times.  If necessary, use words.”

Rogers went on to explain that he’s not an “over the top” kind of guy and he would rather have people ask him why he behaves the way he does rather than him telling everyone.  He said this in reference to being asked about Tebow’s outspokenness.

I’m not sure how well that’s working for Rogers.  Before reading the ESPN quote, I actually didn’t have any idea that Rogers was a believer.  His actions just aren’t speaking out to a dark world as loudly as Tim Tebow.  Perhaps Rogers is making a difference with some of his teammates and quietly working behind the scenes.  I know that other NFL players, such as Matt Hasselback of the Titans, are very bold in some of their relationships with teammates about their faith.  There should be more grace given to anyone, be it Rogers or Tebow, if they are truly striving to be the person that God has called them to be.  He has certainly blessed both men with a platform of influence and talent.

Pro athletes are blessed with a lot and Scripture says that if that’s the case, a lot is expected.  Tebow is trying to be the best “Tebow” that he can be, for the God who loves him.  I don’t believe in throwing stones but if you’re going to be throwing them, does a 24 year old young man who is successfully being a good role model to many in this world who needs a role model need to be the target?  I don’t think so.

What are your thoughts?

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Super Bowl XLV Is right around the corner and I was thinking about the two starting quarterbacks.  They have a common thread.  Guess how many major football colleges offered Aaron Rogers and Ben Roethlisberger scholarships coming out of high school?  They received the same amount of major scholarship offers that I did.  ZERO.

Coming out of high school, neither were highly sought after or recruited by major colleges.  They weren’t really at the top of anyone’s lists to play quarterback.  Who would have guessed that they both would have made it to the top of the league, playing for the NFL Championship?

Aaron Rogers, the Green Bay quarterback, got little interest from Division 1 schools.  His only offer was to come to Illinois as a walk on. He declined that “impressive” offer of walking on and attended Butte Community College.  After a year of playing at Butte, he caught the eye of California head coach, Jeff Tedford, who came to a Butte came to look at recruiting their tight end, Garret Cross.  He played the next three years at California.

Ben Roethlisberger, the Steeler’s quarterback, only played one year of quarterback in high school.  Even though he had a good senior season and received some interest to play other positions, Miami of Ohio was the only school that wanted him to come as a quarterback.  Besides his experience of only playing one year of quarterback in high school, Roethlisberger had yet to fill out to his “Big Ben” frame.  Consequently, he agreed to go to Miami of Ohio and play for the Redhawks.

Jesus’ disciples weren’t highly sought after either.  They were far from heroes.  Some were uneducated fishermen.  Matthew was a hated tax collector.  They weren’t in consideration as disciples for any of the other rabbis of the day.  They were passed over as others were chosen for those positions.  They were not the kind of material that I would have picked either to put in the “changing the world” category.  I would have looked more at the educated and experienced leaders of the day.  Jesus had other ideas.

That’s actually good news.  If you were always the person that everyone wanted to have around and considered a “hero” by those around, cheer up and stay positive.  Jesus can probably use you too, but he has a history of choosing those that are underachievers and doing great things through them.

God chose David to serve as King and he wasn’t the star quarterback of the local Jerusalem High football team either.  He wasn’t a likely hero either.  David was a young guy that kept stinkin’ sheep all day.  He was “ruddy,” and “comely in appearance.”  (I Samuel 17)  God didn’t see what others saw.  He saw a young guy that loved God and had potential that others didn’t see.  David’s family didn’t see the potential in him and David probably didn’t know the extent to what God had in store for him either.  David eventually became King of Israel and is remembered as a “man after God’s own heart.”  Truth is, with God on your side, anyone can have potential.

It doesn’t matter who you are, what others have said, or what your background is.  If you will truly seek God and give EVERYTHING in your life to Him, he can do great things THROUGH you.  God just might surprise you at what He will do through you as you are totally surrendered to His will and leadership. Did you think that you’re an unlikely person that would be used for greatness by God.? Good!  You may just be God’s chosen person!

Have you ever been used by God in a way that surprised you?  What’s keeps most people from letting God use them in ways that are surprising?