Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Understanding Tebowmania

Like many other people, I have been perturbed by the ordeal of Tim Tebow. The kid has not done anything wrong, he has merely done his job and represented his faith to the best of his ability. Despite his hard work and success, he has been met with tribulations ever since he left the confines of Gainesville, Florida. First he was welcomed with fanfare, then he was ostracized by his boss. What was his reaction? He continued to work hard for the team and was not afraid to speak out about his faith. The media then largely reacted by relegating him to the role of popular back-up and dismissed his popularity as a fleeting relic of his college success. 

When hardship and frustration led his boss to reluctantly put him on the field, Tebow continued to do what he does, play hard and win games. His success despite the odds inspired his team, but it still has not endeared him to the sports world. Many have even criticized and mocked him because of his unswerving spiritual commitment.
I think the church in Corinth may have had a lot in common with Tim Tebow and his predicament. The culture of Roman Corinth likely rewarded those whose mindset involved the abstractions of greek philosophy and the hedonism of the prevailing sexual idolatry of that city. In the second chapter of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, Paul tells them not to be surprised when people do not understand them. Even though they are misunderstood, Paul continues to exhort them to have the mind of Christ, using their spiritual judgment to love others.
I think Christians are often good at being misunderstood, but we often use this difficulty as an excuse to disengage from loving others or to have an “us against them” mentality. The script for this type of situation has been has been championed by the religious right in the world of politics. An alternative pathway has also been to go under the radar and pretend that our faith does not motivate our actions.
I am sure Tim Tebow has many human flaws, but I think he is a pretty good example of the third way that Paul is suggesting to the Corinthians. May be Tebowmania is the result of Christians seeing a successful young man who is misunderstood, yet perseveres in loving and serving others. It is like the Christians of America now have our very own real-life Rocky. Although he is inevitably not perfect, I think Tebow’s example can help us to live out a misunderstood life with the love of Christ.

1 comment:

  1. ok, so i'm a little biased for several reasons, but i love this post :) i totally agree with everything you had to say about tim. i've been a broncos fan since back when elway was qb and it was never as much fun as last year. i'm so disgusted by the way tim has been treated by the broncos and yet so impressed and encouraged by his character that has shone through this whole mess.

    i like how you said "May be Tebowmania is the result of Christians seeing a successful young man who is misunderstood, yet perseveres in loving and serving others." i hope we can all learn something from tim and the way he perseveres in spite of critics...didn't Jesus tell us we would face this??

    good one daniel! and thanks for including one of my fave videos :)