Despite my relative disconnection with the sports industry and it’s scene, I haven’t been able to escape the wake of this guy, Tim Tebow. In a very short time he has sprung up to the national fore, boasting a Heisman, a statue of himself on a campus, underdog winning games, a book blurb from Chuck Norris, Tweets from Bill Cosby……I mean, for real, some guys on YouTube are even writing songs about him and selling them on ITunes.
I began hearing, at first from friends, about some of the controversy surrounding this guy, specifically regarding his Faith in the surge of his success. He’s been getting a lot of praise, but also a lot of prodding, mockery, and bad press from what I can scarcely call anything but “haters”. But, why exactly?
It didn’t take long to gather that Tebow is very outspoken about his Christianity, from the verse “John 3:16” written on his eyeblack to his in-game kneeling ritual.
Now, if you know anything about me you know that outward “shows” of “Faith” don’t necessarily mean a hill of beans to me. I have sadly found that many times the people toting bumper stickers, t-shirts, tattoos etc. trying to prove something about their Christianity can be the very ones who don’t show much fruit or knowledge concerning it. So, naturally I earnestly appreciated Tebow’s gestures, but that was about it.
However, later I heard of how he credits the Lord with his natural talents, gifts, and abilities, and makes it a point to mention that God is the source of those things. Again though, this came with a large amount of media bullying and altogether foolishness.
So, one day I caught a debate about the Tebow situation, specifically concerning his talk and shows of Faith. One of the parties involved in the discussion admitted to being very bothered by it. They were visibly upset about it, making what amounted to a bogus case about Tebow forcing his beliefs on viewers. Last time I checked, forcing meant requiring participation. Another on-air personality made the comment that Tebow was presuming a lot to think that God has a sports preference about whether the Colts win games or not. But again, this is arguing a moot point. Tebow never presumed that God is sitting around with a Colts pennant in the throne room, he simply acknowledges the Lord as the source of his personal ability.
What struck me most about this whole situation was two things, which I think are accessible and obvious whether you are a Christian or not:
1-The excessive offense/hateful immaturity thrown at a guy, and for what? Being devout? Being a decent example to kids? Saving sexual activity for marriage? (which, to be fair, is heresay, but in “today’s world” is hardly worth lying to the media about anyway)
And 2-The fact that other sports personalities have come out about their personal beliefs and not gotten this kind of treatment. Think Ali.
I can’t really tell you for absolute certain that a guy I have never even met is 100% squeaky clean. I can’t say whether he has or will for certain live a relatively blemish-free life right now, but come on people, mockery and offense for the sake of themselves is nothing short of infantile.