What Are We Doing to Tebow?

I will confess right now to having a man-crush on Tim Tebow. Nothing too surprising there, since two-thirds of men in America right now would probably (if they are honest) claim the same thing. (Click here for an example of the hoopla.) There are multiple reasons for my admiration of him.   I love that he is a Florida Gator. He went to ‘my’ school and he represents the Gator Nation so well. At a time in UF’s football history when there were a few too many run ins between football players and police officers, you never had to worry about Tim providing an embarrassing blemish to the university’s image. You still don’t. It only helps the man crush that right now, along with a plaque commemorating his ‘promise’ speech, there is a statue of Tebow outside the stadium alongside the Gators’ other Heisman trophy winners Steve Spurrier and Danny Wuerffel.   I love his leadership. In college the most famous instance of this is his “Promise” speech. After a lethargic loss to a much overmanned opponent, Tebow promised that he would personally work harder than any other player and the team would play harder than any other. Proved true, they won the national championship that year.   Even on his pro team, this may be his greatest attribute. Much maligned for his ‘lack’ of football skill, Tebow has at times indeed performed poorly. Yet, he has led and inspired a team to perform beyond what they did before he was the starter. There would be no Tebow-time if the defense didn’t keep the game close. Tim got the defense to buy into his leadership; quite the undertaking considering how loudly many ‘experts’ were...

A Lesson on Performance

It is so easy to substitute an idol for Jesus. Our false self demands it. Denying that false self daily, staying on the narrow path is an arduous and intentional process. Made even more so by our ability to take good things and make them our idols. We have to be wary of the space that we are allowing everything except Jesus to have in our lives. Nowhere is this more subtle than in the area of ministry – doing things for Jesus, as his representative. It is only a subtle degree of separation to go from having an identity in Christ to having an identity in doing things for Christ. {click here to tweet that} The former is secure and stable, rooted in the truth of the Gospel – that we are chosen, loved and saved by God himself. In the latter our perceived worth to God becomes highly dependent on our own performance. As I lived this, it was so easy to justify my logic: since God made me a pastor and gave me these opportunities for service, success in ministry equaled rightness with God. It is so easy for the heart to be deceived, even by good things. With this sense of the tug of the false self, we’re going to look in on Jesus in Luke 10 as He is sending out 72 disciples in pairs to every town that He was about to visit. After some instruction, 36 pairs of disciples, who were probably at the same time nervous and excited, set off on their work of service, prepared in advance for them to do. In verse...

Fruit and the Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22 – 23 It is the desire of most of the followers of Jesus that I know to be closer to God. So, when our lives are compared to the verse above, the path seems clear. The solution is more fruit. Now, our well-meaning desire for closeness becomes a mandate to try harder. Because I want intimacy with God, I will set myself on being more self-controlled. Because I am in Christ, I should make sure that I act more joyful. I’m sure you can see and maybe are living in this pattern. If we follow the path of focusing on producing fruit, then we become slaves to our performance. But this verse, thankfully, is not about behavior modification. The broader passage is Paul reminding those in Christ that their behavior is actually a product of their root. A tree does not control its fruit. If a tree is planted in poor soil or is not given water, it cannot simply try harder to produce pleasing fruit. The same is true with us. Fruit is a product of being connected to the Spirit, it is NOT and invitation for the Spirit. [Click here to Tweet that.] The fruit of our life is indicative of our root – on what we are basing our identity. This verse in Galatians tells us what to look for. If you are not seeing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, then it is highly likely that you are attempting...

Gain Perspective. Live Well.

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