These opinions and beliefs are my own (Sam). Those expressed here do not represent anyone but myself.
Most of you are probably sick of hearing about Tim Tebow, but until they are knocked out of the play0ffs (likely this weekend) you’re going to have to listen to it. First I will say that Tim Tebow is not the run of the mill NFL quarterback. He’s not the guy you want dropping into the pocket and throwing 40 passes a game. That wouldn’t work first, because he’s not a GREAT passer by any means, and second you wouldn’t be using his talents properly. Tebow as a player has to be used to his strengths, he is dangerous when he can extend the play and get out of the pocket. It looks like a train wreck, but it has worked thus far. Will that style of play sustain itself? We will see, I don’t think it will but I’ve been wrong before. Personally I don’t think Tebow has a long-term career ahead of him in football. He will win games, yes, but eventually teams will figure out how to play against him.
Now, moving out of the professional arena I want to talk about Tim Tebow, the man. Hate him as a player, he was a Gator, he beats the odds, he breaks the mold, that’s fine. I love how he plays, it’s reckless, dangerous, defies the odds and when he’s on, it’s fun to watch him prove everyone wrong, but that’s not for everyone. Some people prefer classic quarterback play, and that’s fine. What bothers me is the attacks on the man’s personal life because of his outward faith. First off, I need to be clear, I am a Christian. I hold to the same faith that Tim Tebow does in that I believe Jesus Christ was the Son of God, sent here to Earth to die for our sins and the he rose from the dead and that in him, I have life. I believe that. I’m not going to shove it down your throat, but I’m also not going to keep from sharing it.
I think our society says that faith is supposed to be a private thing. If we look at the Christian faith, the Bible says
No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. – Matthew 5:15 (NLT)
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. – Galatians 6:14 (NIV)
I’m not going to throw a bunch of scripture at you, but those verses explain why Tebow acts the way he does. It’s a conviction of his that he outwardly share his faith, because he believes that faith is part of everything you do, in private and in public. So I would say I reject what society says about faith being “priavte.” Keep it to yourself goes against everything the Bible says about being a Christian. Now at the same time, I believe faith is a personal thing. What do I mean by that? I think faith is something that belongs to each and every person. I have my beliefs, you have yours, Tim Tebow has his, Barrack Obama has his. We’re all different and I believe we should be able to share with each other and have mature conversations about our faiths in mature fashion. Obviously I’m going to share mine with you because it’s what I think is truth, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to force myself upon you and shove the Bible down your throat. That’s not what I believe to be an effective way to share your faith and actually puts people off. I think many “religious” types have done that in the years’ past and given a very bad impression of the Church, but that’s another argument.
I don’t want to get into a big discussion on faith, that’s for another arena and another time, doesn’t make it less important, but for now I want to get to my main point. A quality that I think we can all take from and be inspired by in Tim Tebow is that he is a man of conviction. Convictions are beliefs that are held firmly. One that we hold close to our heart and doesn’t waver. Living by convictions is something I think is essential to every man. Convictions vary, they are different from man to man, but I think it is important that he have them, otherwise we will be tossed, turned and thrown around by the raging seas of life, there will be nothing inwardly real about us, we just become impersonators of everyone else. People without convictions are like tape, it sticks to something, then the tape is ripped off, it take little pieces with it as it is ripped off. Then the next time it sticks to something, the bond isn’t as strong, this happens a couple of times and eventually, the tape becomes useless.
A man of conviction stands up in times of hardship and doesn’t back down because he is holding onto something. A man of conviction doesn’t waver in the face of persecution or the world telling him he’s wrong. He keeps striving to become a better man, he perseveres through hardship and rejoices when the sea is calm. Any one can be good when times are good, you find out his measure when they are not. Martin Luther King Jr. said it well:
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. -Martin Luther King Jr.
Look at the great men of history: Abraham Lincoln held to the conviction that all men are created equal and that freedom for all is worth the cost. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela believed the same thing. I am not saying Tim Tebow is as great as these men, but I’m saying he shares a quality with them, a great quality. One I think society needs more of. Great men have convictions, they believe in something and hold dearly to it, and they do not waver, regardless of circumstance. Our world needs great men of conviction, not just on the football field, but in the workplace, workers who put their heart and soul into everything they do, in the classroom, teachers with the convictions that desire to see their students succed and to give them the tools they need to do just that. In the home, husbands with convictions to put their wives before themselves, to support and love her, wives with convictions to love their husband and support him in every endeavor. Parents with convictions to raise their children with the values that will see them flourish, and succeed. People with convictions to help those who are less fortunate.
That’s what Tim Tebow is to me, a man who stands by his convictions. Regardless of what people say, he is going to live his faith. That’s a conviction. Regardless of everyone telling him he can’t do it, he is going to push foreword with all his might. That’s a conviction. And that’s what inspires me about the man and what will make me a fan of his every time he takes the field and what I think is a good message to everyone, especially to kids who look up to him.
-You can follow Sam on twitter @samwaynescott