Guts, Grace, & Glory
by Jim Grassi
Many people attribute the phrase “All glory is fleeting” to General George S. Patton, but it didn’t originate with him. In Roman times, a conquering general was allowed a parade of “triumph” through the streets of Rome. But Caesar ordered that a slave stand next to the general in his chariot and continuously whisper in his ear, “All glory is fleeting.”
In the realm of football, as it is played out in front of millions of fans in stadiums and on television screens throughout the living rooms of the world, it seems that “all glory is fleeting” is a phrase unknown by many NFL players. In the Christian community though, it’s refreshing and encouraging to watch players come into the game who are willing to truly give the glory to God. One such player has become a primary focus of NFL fans.
One of the most decorated college football players over the last decade, Tim Tebow is now a steady force in the NFL. Much has been written about this young man and his fervent dedication to Jesus Christ. The legacy he left at the University of Florida is one that speaks of integrity and character. To this day, his words and actions, both on and off the field, are consistent. There is no doubt that Tebow lives out his faith well. Now, as he faces the challenges of the NFL, there is a great deal of anticipation as fans watch to see how he will live out his faith in such a bright spotlight.
Tebow’s heroics with the Denver Broncos during the 2011 season made a definite impression upon football enthusiasts everywhere. Despite the fact the Broncos traded Tim to the Jets it doesn’t take away from the spectacular outcomes associated with many of his performances. “There is no ego with Tim,” said Brian Dawkins, a former teammate and nine-time Pro Bowl free safety. “He wants to work, he wants to learn, asks a lot of questions—not just from the offensive side of the ball, but he’s asking me questions; he’s trying to learn as much as he can to make himself a better player. And that’s always an encouraging sign: to see a young guy who’s been a star to come in and be a humble player.”
Josh McDaniels, former head coach of the Denver Broncos said this of Tebow:
[Tim’s] confidence affects everybody. We could see it last week at rookie camp. There were a bunch of rookies out there with no confidence, except him. He’s got such confidence that he will just not let himself fail. And that quality sometimes is very underrated. There are people with a great deal of God-given ability who are fun to watch, and it’s really interesting to see what kind of seasons they’ll put together. Then there are guys who will say they won’t fail, our team’s not going to fail, and they have an “I’m not going to let you down” attitude. And that’s what you notice with Tim.
Already Tebow’s character and strong work ethic are speaking volumes for him and for his Savior Jesus Christ. According to Tebow, “Football gives me a platform and with that platform comes a responsibility and obligation to make a difference in people’s lives.”
God has truly blessed this young man with physical talent and a desire to use his abilities to glorify and honor Jesus Christ. Are you using the talents and platform God has given you to boldly proclaim His love? Do you strive to live out a Christlike testimony in front of your coworkers, clients, and customers? I encourage you to dig into God’s Word, meet regularly with other believers, and establish accountability with them that will spur you on to glorify the name of God. And remember, all glory is fleeting for us here on earth, but thankfully we are able to glorify and honor God while we’re here as a witness of the grace and mercy He has extended to us.
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
© 2013 by Dr. James E. Grassi
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