April 22, 2010
The front page of this morning’s USA Today features articles on two very different men, both of them champions of the gridiron: Tim Tebow, the devout Evangelical Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Florida,and Ben Roethlisberger, pro quarterback for the Pittsburg Steelers.
Roethlisberger, suspended for six games by the NFL for credible allegations of sexual assault against a 20 year-old woman in Milledgeville, Georgia, received a letter from League Commissioner Roger Goodell stating that “there is nothing about your conduct in Milledgeville that can remotely be described as admirable, responsible, or consistent with either the values of the league or the expectations of our fans.”
In contrast, USA Today notes that Tebow’s Christian faith has motivated him to travel “to impoverished hamlets, prisons and hospitals around the world.” Tebow’s unapologetic commitment to the sanctity of unborn life became widely known when, during this year’s Super Bowl broadcast, he was featured in an ad with his mother. As USA Today reports, “Pregnant with Tim in the Phillippines (where the Tebows were missionaries), his mother became ill, suffering internal bleeding … Doctors, fearing for her life, recommended an abortion. She decided to have the baby.” Now that baby has been selected in the first round of the NFL draft.
Tebow makes no pretension of moral perfection, but his dedication to living a life of integrity, purity and conviction, all on behalf of his Savior, is a striking reminder that Christian witness and servanthood can inspire and encourage.
As to Mr. Roethlisberger, we can pray that he will, in the words of the prophet Haggai, consider his ways. The way Mr. Tebow is following - the Way, in fact - is worth emulating.