Tim Tebow is an National Football League (NFL) quarterback. His team, the Denver Broncos, lost to the Detroit Lions yesterday 45-10. In the aftermath, Tebow’s performance is receiving great criticism, if not outright scorn. The opposing team even mocked him on the field during the game, imitating his practice of kneeling on one knee to pray – a practice that has come to be called “Tebowing.” Many professional football players and observers do not think Tebow has sufficient ability to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
In the past, Tebow has borne witness to Jesus Christ on multiple occasions and in multiple ways. How he bears witness to Christ now, however, can bring more honor to God than when Tebow was winning the national championship in college football at the University of Florida. This is because it brings greater glory to God when we testify to His love and imitate Him in adversity than when we do so in the midst of prosperity. Anyone can throw a flower in God’s direction when things are going great; if we still do so when things are not going great, then it demonstrates the durability of our devotion to Him.
Jesus brought glory to God when miracles – such as the feeding of the five thousand or the raising of Lazarus from the dead – occurred. However, Jesus brought even more glory to God when, as He hung on the cross He did not deserve, He prayed for those who put Him there, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Whether Tebow ultimately succeeds as an NFL quarterback is secondary to the point I am making, and secondary to what’s really important in life. What is primary is whether we – no matter who we are or what we do – honor Christ, in good times and in bad. I pray for Tim Tebow, but not that he will succeed at becoming an NFL quarterback. That is an issue to be decided by Tim, God, and professional football. Rather, I pray that he will continue to honor Christ – and will do so with greater and greater grace, and to greater and greater effect. And may the same be true of all of us.