Tebowing

Tebow•ing (verb)

1.) To get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different.
Eg: I was in the middle of Times Square and I saw a girl Tebowing in the street. She almost got squashed.

Urban Dictionary

Yep, the sports world has invented a new verb based on what Tim Tebow does on the football field as he steps onto it, steps off of it and every time he scores a touchdown. So, maybe some of you still haven’t really gotten the whole lowdown on Tim Tebow. Well you really should know, and I’ll get you started with my cliff notes version. Tim Tebow won the Heisman Trophy (most valuable college football player in the nation), the college national championship twice while playing with Florida, and is now starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos. He’s also currently the most controversial athlete in sports and could end up being the most controversial athlete of our time. And you know why? Because he in no way tries to hide the fact that he is a passionate follower of Christ, the most controversial person of all time. So if you’re a follower of Christ (and also if you’re not), you should be aware of the dialogue going on about Tim Tebow, because it’s causing a big stir in our nation. And we have to be prepared to respond to things that make a big stir (1 Peter 3:15).

I know that Tim probably hates articles published about him that give glory to him rather than God, so we’ll take it the proper route. What can we learn from Tim Tebow’s actions on and off the football field? Let’s explore a few of them.

The first thing is that we will experience opposition when we truly stand for Jesus. When we stop fearing what others think of us, stop fearing rejection, stop fearing alienation, and start acting like God’s opinion of us is all that matters, we will experience opposition. When we stop living to fit in and start living to honor Jesus, giving glory to Him in all circumstances, it will look weird to others. It will make them uncomfortable. And some will respond by shunning you. Others will walk away. Others will throw it back in your face and ridicule you for putting so much stock in something you can’t see. But others will be curious and will ask questions about why you live that way. And you’ll have to be ready to explain to them why you act the way you do and what you believe.

Tim Tebow makes it no mystery that he’s a Christian and the first thing he says in every interview is that he loves Jesus and gives the glory to God for everything accomplished on the football field. And because of that, he catches a whole lot of flack from people that don’t like it. Many others mock him, including players on the field. But he has chosen to follow Christ, he does it authentically, and that makes him offensive.

The second thing we can learn is that if we’re not experiencing opposition, there’s something wrong with the way we’re living out our faith. “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). Christ is a polarizing figure and we will polarize ourselves from others should we seek to legitimately follow Him. So it’s time to ask yourself “am I living in a way that makes me obviously different?” Now the point isn’t to go be hated by everyone who doesn’t share your beliefs. We can leave that to the guys who stand out on street corners holding a “God hates fags” sign (which should be noted is very wrong). On the contrary, Paul said, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Romans 12:18). But it should be a warning sign that you’re living a lukewarm life if you don’t experience some kind of opposition.

The last thing we can pull from all this Tebow stuff is that we can have a big impact on the world when we truly live sold out for Jesus. When we truly live as if God is our audience of One and not according to the opinions of others. When Tebow chooses to say the honest things he does in interviews and take a knee to pray to God on the field, it makes people uncomfortable, but it also makes them notice. It makes them think. And it opens up a significant dialogue about things that matter a heck of a lot more than football.

It makes people think when we respond differently to things. It may seem uncomfortable when we tell someone who doesn’t know Jesus, “I’m going to spend time with Jesus.” It may seem weird to others when we say we’re waiting until marriage, or when we refuse to take part in a lot of the irreverent gossip that goes on amongst our co-workers. But we as followers of Christ are called to be different. We’re ambassadors here on the earth (2 Corinthians 5:20). Alien citizens. And we’re to be different because we’re living out a message that is different and is transforming the world. We will take part in transforming the world when we act and speak differently, starting with those people God has put around us.

You may not always have the kind of spotlight Tim Tebow has, but there’s always people watching. Think of times and situations in which you could be more authentic about who you really are as a follower of Christ. Think of ways you can show tangible love to friends, family, classmates or co-workers that would be unexpected to them. Things they wouldn’t normally experience. Be weird. Let God see you Tebowing.

Author: Jeff Oleson

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