Christians are not new to professional athletics, but with first Tebow and now Lin, you would get the impression that this is a new trend. Still Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin are similar in how they came in mid-stream and provided a needed spark to their respective teams. Both have weaknesses in their games that cause people to doubt them – passing for Tebow and turnovers for Lin. Ultimately, it is their quick thanksgiving to God for their opportunities that have linked the two together.
With the recent explosion of Jeremy Lin just after Tim Tebow’s rise a couple months ago, I have started wondering what God is up to. Is he media playing these two’s stories up because they know it will sell? Or is God trying to get our attention?
Since God is always trying to get our attention, I will choose that is what is going on here too. Therefore, what is God trying to say? Here is a list of possibilities:
- Confidence is not pride. Both of these men are good at what they do. Tebow met with fans before each game using his platform to bless others. Lin has just started to shine, but he easily dishes out praise to his teammates building up the people around him. Pride is all about what you can get for yourself. Confidence is knowing what you have to strengthen those around you.
Christians have too often been afraid of confidence for fear of being prideful.
- Your biggest limitation is how you view yourself. Both have been criticized for what they lacked. Both had been overlooked in their positions. And yet, both prevailed when given the opportunity. They didn’t let the views of others hold them back. They believed in themselves and were ready when the time came.
Christians often think less about themselves in effort to stay humble.
- Giving God the glory is not making Him do all the work. Whether the world believes it or not, both Tebow and Lin believe God has given them success. Even though they trust in God’s hand leading them, both have worked hard to get to where they are. They have practiced, been in the weight room, studied plays, and repeated each many times to be able to play at the highest level. While God didn’t give them a free pass, He still made it happen.
Christians often think they should succeed just because of who they serve without any hard work.
- Being passionate is not striving. Both men want to win and have done so in the clutch. They bring energy to their teams because their desire to excel. Is their motivation to earn God’s acceptance? I can’t answer that, but a clue can come from Lin’s Facebook profile where he has listed Colossians 3:23. I believe they want to honor the One who gave them these abilities by using them to their best.
Christian often think working hard is not abiding in God’s rest. That’s just an excuse for laziness.
- God enjoys having His children succeed. The Bible is so full of examples of God using suffering that we tend to forget the He wants us to succeed. Israel was placed at the crossroads of international trade to affect the world. They were to conquer the land, live in peace, and benefit the world. They faltered and we think we can’t live to God’s ideal. Tebow and Lin have succeeded and have gotten the attention of the President. Not bad for throwing a ball around.
Must Christians downplay success because they believe suffering is God’s sign of approval.
I am sure there are many other things we can take away from these two men, but ultimately I believe the Church needs to get ready. God is raising the bar of success that we can expect. We have the Creator of the Universe on our side, therefore the expectations of what we can accomplish need to be high. God can use you just as much as He has with Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin. Meditate on who God made you to be, then work hard and reach your potential.
Kevin Shorter is the founder of this prayer-coach site and have served for several years in ministry and churches teaching on a variety of Biblical topics. Go to the contact page to request him to speak at your conferences and seminars.