Whether you are a sports fan or not, if you live in America, you’ve now heard the name ‘Tim Tebow.’
There are millions of opinions as to why this 24 year old football player is the center of conversation. Yes, he led a few ‘come from behind’ wins. Yes, he’s not the traditional quarterback the pundits expect to see leading playoff teams.
And yes, he is public about his Christian faith.
The difference seems to be that Tebow’s life matches his words…he walks the talk. His “light” for Jesus shines bright and that is new and different in our secular culture, especially the world of celebrity and fame.
First, there are things Tebow does. At his own expense, he brings a disabled, sick or dying person (usually a youngster), along with his/her entire family, to each game. He pays for their airfares, a nice hotel, and gets them great tickets & “insider” passes to the game. He visits with them privately before the game and takes them out to dinner after the game, win or lose, home or away.
He goes on mission trips, aimed at helping the “least of these” in Jesus name. He prays on the field. He gives credit to “his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ”, for everything. He is unashamed.
But secondly, there are things Tim Tebow doesn’t do. He is a virgin…he has saved himself for the woman God will give him for his wife. He doesn’t drink for fear he’ll lead younger ones astray. He doesn’t brag or boast, always projecting gratitude and humility.
From all I’ve read, it’s not Tebow’s “talk” that distinguishes him. It’s his “walk”….his actions.
When you think of celebrities in America…really, anywhere in the world…who else comes to mind when you think “role model and Christian”? Mine is a very short list.
Tebow’s “light” shines bright because he’s genuine in his faith.
He’s not “Mother Teresa.” He’s a football player. He simply seems to be “onion”….the same on the inside as on the outside.
There’s a lesson in this for the rest of us. The brightness of our “light” isn’t determined by how loud we talk, but by how “loud” our behavior speaks….the consistency of our behavior, the depth of our commitment to follow Christ, and by our obedience to God to do the right thing regardless of what people think of us.
What are the things you DO that people look at and say “Wow, what a unique Christian man he is!” Things done, not for the spotlight or recognition, but out of obedience and love for God and his children. For example, my neighbor disappears from his office every Friday afternoon. He makes no public pronouncements, but if you ask him, he’ll tell you why. He goes to a hospice home in the intercity and spends time with folks who are not only dying, but are poor and homeless. Every Friday….you can set your watch by it….out the door….serving.
And what are the things that you DON’T do that speak loudly to those around you? What are the things that, if you stopped doing them, out of love and obedience to your Savior, would make your light shine bright to those around you? Are you the odd ball who won’t go to the gentlemen’s club with the out of town visitors? Are you the weirdo who won’t watch the porn video on the smart phone? Or talk badly about his wife? Or bet on the golf game?
The Gospel of Jesus Christ will get new life in our culture when more of us are willing to “walk the talk” consistently and be unashamed of our Savior.
Question: Will you go “all in” for Christ? Tell us what you’re going to do to make your light shine brighter in 2012.
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