"A Bad Influence"
December 14, 2011
(Jesus said) "No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light." Luke 8:16
This devotion is about Tim Tebow.
For those of you who don't know the name, let me explain. In college Tim Tebow won the super-prestigious Heisman Trophy for having lead his team to two national college championships. Right now Tebow is in his second year playing football with the Denver Broncos.
But there's more that you should know about Tim Tebow. He spends his off time visiting sick kids in hospitals; he visits his father's mission in the Philippines, and he says that sex is something for marriage. You know, there was a time in this country when that kind of person would become a hands-down hero for the young, a model worthy of everyone's emulation.
Yes, there was a time, but that time is not 21st-century America. You see, Tim Tebow is a Christian, and he is being singled out for hatred because he is a follower of the Savior.
And if you think "hatred" is too strong a word, I can tell you there is a Facebook page called "I Hate Tim Tebow." There is a website called Tebow-Haters.com. One comedian jokes that "If he had a gun with one bullet and Osama bin Laden and Tim Tebow were in the same room, he'd shoot bin Laden. But if he had two bullets, he'd shoot Tim Tebow first."
And if you were to ask the folks who dislike Tebow so much, they would tell you it's because he doesn't keep his faith hidden. And while he is not pushy with his faith, he's not apologetic for it either. It is Tebow's public witness, his refusal to be a beer-guzzling, skirt-chasing, drug-popping, marriage vow-breaking party animal, which makes him stand out in the public arena.
Now I'm not a Broncos' fan, and I don't follow Tebow with any kind of a religious fervor. Even so, I believe all of us have an interest in seeing this young man continuing with his witness.
You see, if the scoffers can silence a public Christian like Tim Tebow, they will have no hesitation tackling other, lesser individuals. If they can stop his witness, no high-school athlete would object when coach called for a practice during church time; no college student or store clerk would risk making a confession of faith lest they jeopardize their chances for advancement.
And just as bad, those generations who come after us will have second-string, second-rate heroes and few Christian success stories after which they can pattern their lives. Like I said, I'm not a Bronco fan, but I'm willing to cheer for any Christian who lets the world know he isn't ashamed to follow the Savior who lived, died and rose to save us from our sins.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, in every generation You have raised up men and women of faith who powerfully proclaimed the Savior who rescued them from their sins. Now we pray that You will, in our time, give us men and women who -- with Christ in their hearts -- will set an example worthy of being followed. This I pray in my Savior's Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries