“By their fruit, you will recognize them.” Matthew 7:16
When asked by Rick Reilly if his public selflessness would create a distraction in his profession, Tim Tebow responded with:
“Just the opposite,” Tebow said. “It’s by far the best thing I do to get myself ready. Here you are, about to play a game that the world says is the most important thing in the world. Win and they praise you. Lose and they crush you. And here I have a chance to talk to the coolest, most courageous people. It puts it all into perspective. The game doesn’t really matter. I mean, I’ll give 100 percent of my heart to win it, but in the end, the thing I most want to do is not win championships or make a lot of money, it’s to invest in people’s lives, to make a difference.”
There is a very important theme in Tim’s comment, which appeared in ESPN the Magazine, which I’d like to identify. He asserts that the world says that this game is the most important thing on the earth – He says it’s not. He is not in agreement with the world, and he has faced opposition for that posture. I’ve heard Tim referred to as polarizing, a hypocrite, a phony. I’ve seen satirical pieces poking fun at his choice to wait until marriage to have sex, and countless other pithy and mindless stabs at his character; but remember Jesus’ words in saying “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” (John 15:18)
It’s hard to believe that such a stand-up guy, Christian or not, would be getting such heat from people, but if you turn on the TV, radio, or browse the web, you’ll see what I mean. There are plenty of football analysts knocking his throwing style but that’s not what I’m talking about; I’m referring to the sharp and relentless attacks on his character, with seemingly no basis other than that his lifestyle defies that of the world.
When Tim was drafted and earned a roster spot with the Denver Broncos, he was rewarded with a $2.5 million signing bonus; $2.5 million of that went to charities. The world called it an immature and irresponsible move, to blow his well-earned money. Tim didn’t retract the cash. Have you ever heard of charitable organizations facing scrutiny for actually pocketing a chunk of donated money to their cause? Well, that’s not possible with the Tim Tebow Foundation because Tim himself pays its staff salaries and administration costs so that 100% of donations can go to children in need (as of 2012). Does that sound “hypocritical”, “holier than thou”, or even “politically right leaning,” to use a few of the terms brandished by his accusers?
There are three things about Tim Tebow that the body of Christ can really learn from. 1 – He presses forward, despite the harsh criticism and character attacks, 2. He doesn’t take the bate to fight with his accusers, mainly those in the media trying to satisfy their appetites for gossip and slander, and above all, 3. His fruit speaks louder than any word, phrase, Twitter handle or public statement. The guy simply represents Christ well wherever he goes. No wonder the world hates him!
Tebow’s fruit – below are just a few of Tebow’s Kingdom accolades
– Heisman Trophy winner (only sophomore to ever do so)
Tebow signs with the Philadelphia Eagles – April 20th
As ESPN reports, Tim Tebow has signed a one year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles for the 2015-16 season, much to the delight of a few members of the Live With Purpose Coaching team. So, what’s Tim’s first order of business, other than preparing for the season? According to his website, it’s to ‘help make Philly the city of brotherly faith, hope and love.’ Take a lesson from Tebow and preach the gospel wherever you go, and use words when necessary (St. Francis of Assisi).
Joe D’Orsie – Communications & Spiritual Life Counsel –firstname.lastname@example.org