I have always been amazed by the hatred that Tim Tebow has received over the life of his public athletic career. When he was at the University of Florida, many people couldn’t stand him and the fact that he proudly represented John 3:16 on his eye black, his famous speech “The Promise,” the incident with blood running down his face, and the list goes on and on. I always liked Tebow in college, simply because of how he represented himself, although I didn’t particularly like his coach or the Florida Gators.
Now that Tim Tebow is in the NFL, this Love/Hate condition is even larger and on a more national level. In the city of Denver, Tebow gets ripped by anti-Christian groups on a regular basis. Yet, he gets cheered on by thousands of fans that have made his jersey one of the most purchased jersey’s in the NFL. Tim Tebow is more than a quarterback for the Denver Broncos; he’s an iconic figure that represents Christian, good, and wholesome.
Tebow appears to have gotten used to the criticism and has never once backed down from outwardly sharing his faith. As matter of fact, he boldly ends every interview with “God Bless!” People in the media and NFL analysts are publicly concluding that the hatred of Tebow is primarily based upon his outward showing of his faith and religious beliefs. Inside the NFL host “JB” James Brown asked his co-host Cris Collinsworth a question regarding how Tim Tebow is treated, and Collinsworth was straightforward about his thoughts. Collinsworth said, “It’s unbelievable, JB, that one of the best kids – pure kids that’s ever come into the NFL, is hated because of his faith, because of his mission work, because of the fact that he wears it on his sleeve…”
In Matthew 10 in the Bible, Jesus talks about people hating you because of Him. I think Tebow not only understands that but also lives with the understanding of Matthew 10:32-33 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.”
I recently experienced a similar Love/Hate relationship in regards to Chick-fil-A. I was doing some consulting with one of my clients, and I was using an analogy of Chick-fil-a with this room full of department leaders. We had even discussed having lunch at Chick-fil-A in order to observe and learn. One of the leaders in the room was adamant about the fact that he didn’t want to go to Chick-fil-A and that he didn’t like them, their leadership, their Christian views, and what they stand for. It’s one thing to disagree with someone because of their views; however, this hatred and dislike that comes from the anti-Christian is superfluous.
No matter how much people hate on Tebow, or Chick-fil-A for that matter, the bottom line is they win. After weeks of “Tebow” chanting fans in Denver, the 3rd string QB finally got his start yesterday against the Miami Dolphins. He was back in Florida, somewhat of a homecoming and had both Miami and Denver fans cheering him on with his college coach Urban Meyer on the Miami sidelines. Tebow started slowly; however, in the 4th quarter, he led a very improbable comeback that only puts more fuel on the Love/Hate Tebow fire. In his first start this year, Tebow rallied the Denver Broncos with two touchdown passes in the final 2:44 of the fourth quarter to force overtime, and Matt Prater‘s 52-yard field goal gave them an 18-15 win Sunday over the stunned Miami Dolphins.
For the anti-Christians and those who hate Tebow exclusively because of his faith, I say get a grip. Instead of always focusing on what you are against, take a play out of Tim Tebow’s playbook and focus on what you are for. I’ll end this with a little wisdom and life perspective from a young NFL QB by the name of Tim Tebow who happens to be a man of faith, “If someone asks, I’ll always be willing to share His will because I also know that there are a lot more important things than football, and that is one of them. That ultimately overrides football any day of the week.”
What do you think about the Love/Hate relationship with Tim Tebow and the anti-Christian? Why are so many people willing to loudly share what they are against and not so willing to do the same about what they are for?
The Lord is at work redeeming and sanctifying a people for Himself.