Jan 14, 2012

The Real Winner

flatfootballToday I watched football, and I wanted Denver to win. They have been ‘my team’ long before the phenomenon of Tim Tebow.

I’ll admit that over the past few weeks I have become impressed with this guy.  It almost seems like someone wrote a script on how we would like to see our sports heroes behave.

I do not know him in person, and granted most of what I find out is either online or on some other form of media, but to some degree this guy almost seems too good to be true; almost as if he is just playing a part in some grand theater performance. He seems genuine though.

Who Is Tim Tebow?

If you haven't heard, he is the quarterback for the Denver Broncos. I wrote about him a little, a few weeks back on my other blog.  He has proven leadership abilities both on an off the field.

This past week, and even a little before that, people have been emulating the way he prays, commenting on his life, making jokes, and some like myself have been a bit impressed.

I became more impressed today.

I Was Sick…

It is part of a scripture from Matthew 25. I was sick and ye visited me, hungry and you fed me, and so on and so forth.Today I found out that Tim brings at least one disabled, terminal, or otherwise impaired teen or child with him to each game. Not the same person, but different ones. And not just in home games but even the away games.

Tim spends time with them before the game, takes photos, gives them football gear, even takes interviews with them beside him.  The joy was shown today in the eyes of one young girl.

I am not sure what her condition was called, but you could tell she was very happy, and he spent a great deal of time with her before the game. He mentioned to a commentator that instead of going to the locker room and psyching himself up, he spends time with one of these individuals before the game, and uses that to get himself fired up. He affects change in peoples lives while doing his job.

No Better Than…

He also mentioned that his parents taught him that he is no better than anyone else as a young child. He said even though he is looked upon as something wonderful by so many people, he is only doing his job, and he is no more special than then mail man, fireman, or grocery store clerk.

He honestly seems a bit uncomfortable in interviews because he doesn’t get why they think he is that great. Oh, and did I mention he prays and is a true Christian?

No, don’t run away, this posting is not about Tim Tebow. Well, it is, but hang on.. I am getting there.

Uncomfortable Grace

Today on his Facebook page, Tim posted Romans 8:37-39. In all things we are ‘more than conquerors… nothing shall separate us from the love of God.’

This was several hours before the playoff game to determine if the Broncos would win another level on the way to the Super Bowl game.  I even saw a poll where 41% of people were thinking that God wanted Denver Broncos to win with Tebow. Odds were that they would go all the way, and some had even bet money on it.

But when it comes to talking about himself, Tim always seems to turn the conversation to someone else. The team, the disabled person he brought to the game, even God. God always comes up in any conversation with him.

He could be telling everyone how wonderful he is, but instead he uses humility and grace to turn the conversation to someone else. And he does the same thing on or off the field.

Ego & Bravado vs Humility & Grace

The other quarterback that played today is a far different story. He seems to thrive more on the publicity, even controversial, and he truly believes he is as good as his handlers say. Oh, and he is married to a supermodel, so perhaps some of his ego is deserved.

Now, I don’t know Tom Brady either, but in every interview I have seen, he thinks he is an important as everyone around him says. He is also pretty good at football, and so I guess somewhat deserved, but on and off the field he shows his ego and bravado.  So, of course the media loves him.

I have even seen some people compare the two quarterbacks to evil versus good.  I don’t think that is entirely true, but there is some truth there.

Tom shows his ego and bravado. Tim shows humility and grace.

The Difference

I said this wasn’t going to be about football, or Tim Tebow and it  isn’t. I want to show the difference, not between the men, but between humility and ego, bravado and grace.

  • The Bible says that  we shouldn’t be arrogant or proud. It even says that true love doesn’t puff itself up.
  • Humility will always give others first choice, while ego will take first, or get upset and angry. Humility loves.
  • Grace will always accept the situation, no matter the outcome, while bravado is all about winning. Grace says I can still do it, and there will be a next time.

Evil Sometimes Wins

Now, I am not saying that all ego is evil, or that being brave is not a good thing. It has its place. However, it almost always has the attitude that it will win or else someone will pay for it.

I don’t think Jesus wants us to just hide in the darkness, but humility and grace always puts others ahead of self. Its not about ‘How I am doing, it is about how are you?’

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to win more. I would love to have my way sometimes, just as much as you do, and sometimes I succeed.

But sometimes we lose, and the worst can happen.

The Purpose of Evil

Again, I am not saying that if my team didn’t win, the other team cheats, or that God should just fix it so I always get my way.

The truth is we need difficulty in our lives.  We need times where we don’t get everything we want. We need those times, even when they are hard, where we ask, “Why did God allow this?’

It is in our struggles, or evils, that we learn how to stand. We gain strength, we learn how to trust God. We go through a testing period, either for ourselves, or for a purpose God has in mind down the road.  If there was no trial, test, problem, evil as it were, we wouldn’t have strength, we wouldn’t set goals, we would just go through life without purpose. We would never grow.

Accepting The Circumstance

  • We can call it many things; trial, test, tribulation, situation, circumstance, evil, more terms could follow meaning the same thing

Why would God allow this? Why didn’t he do this for me? We hear those kinds of questions all the time, and even say them ourselves at times.

And don’t get me wrong, there are times that accepting what has happened can be very hard. I realize that. There are times when it takes all we have to keep trusting God, and sadly, there are many who do not make it, but instead fall into things, that in a former life, they would never been caught even close to.

But we can be sure of a couple of things.

  • If we fall we can choose to get up.
  • Evil only wins for a short time and then it is gone.

Change Happens

Whatever the circumstance that knocks us down is, it can only prevail for a little while. It isn’t permanent.  Bravado and ego is the same way.

It is true that sometimes ego is going to win, but it is not long term, and it has a purpose to make us stronger.

However, humility and grace have a lasting effect. It touches more lives, it changes them, and makes things better. He wasn’t lying when He said His ‘grace is sufficient, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’

Ego touches one person for a short time, humility changes lives, possibly eternally.

No one was ever so humble as Christ himself, yet he took on the shame and reproach of the cross that we might win.

He could have come out and said I am God; zap someone with fire or a lightning bolt; go back up into Heaven; and be happy with us going through the motions. Being robotic, just doing what we are told, getting what we need, not striving to achieve anything else. But no, He is the God of humility.

Romans 8:37-39

So, we didn’t win the game today.  Being more than conquerors doesn’t mean that God will give us the ability to always be right, always win, always get what I want. 

That scripture means that no matter what happens, good or bad, we are still more than conquerors, and nothing can separate us from His Love.

So, Who Wins?

James 4:6 says, ‘But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.’

Grace to the humble and God resists the proud. Who wins?

As I am sure most of our mothers have told us at sometime, ‘It isn’t whether you win or lose, but its how you play the game.’ How profound!

Humility and Grace for the WIN!