If you love football and Jesus then head out and pick up this book. Tim Tebow is a household name. Bill Maher hates him, Denver loves him, and just about everyone wants to be like him. In this book, he offers a memoir of his life from birth through his first season with the Broncos. Even though the writing felt choppy at times, I thoroughly enjoyed the “behind the scenes” look at Tebow’s life.
If I had to describe this book in one phrase it would be “gospel-saturated.” Tebow’s relationship with Jesus Christ is on display throughout the book, which was refreshing in my mind. I have read a number of books by Christian athletes and coaches that were weak on the gospel but that was not the case with Through My Eyes.
I want to offer some principles that I gathered from this book that I hope will be helpful to consider.
1. Parents have a huge impact in their kid’s lives. It was neat to read about the relationship Tebow had and continues to have with his parents. They focused their parenting efforts on developing his character and sharing the truth of the gospel with him at every turn. His parents were involved in every aspect of his life and made certain that there was always an open line of communication. Tim Tebow is who he is today because of the impact his parents had on his life. I was challenged by their example and it created a desire within me to be a better parent to my girls. I want them to know their daddy loves them, prays for them, and wants nothing more than to see them place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation. We, as parents, have an awesome responsibility and our influence, whether good or bad, will make an impact in our kid’s lives.
2. Let others praise you. This is something most of us find difficult to do. We often “toot” our own horns more than we should. Tebow’s parents set a rule that the kids could not talk about their accomplishments (academic, sports, etc.) until someone else brought them up. It was interesting to see how this developed a sense of humility in Tebow as a little kid, which has continued to be evident today. We struggle with this issue (praising ourselves) because of pride. We want to matter. We want people to think we are a big deal. We want our accomplishments shouted from the rooftops and our failures swept under the rug. We must never forget that humility is a more desirable trait than arrogance. Let others praise you!
3. There is no substitute for hard work. Tebow’s work ethic blew me away. He discussed his devotion to working out and that he began doing 400 sit-ups and pushups early on in his athletic career. While at Florida he went in for extra workouts on a frequent basis with the strength and conditioning coach even though it was not required. He was never satisfied with the status quo and constantly kept this phrase on the forefront of his mind: “Somewhere out there he is training and I am not. When we meet he will win.” I am not playing competitive sports right now but I was challenged to work hard at what God has called me to do. This includes studying the Word, memorizing Scripture, working out, being a good husband and father, etc. I know I need to leave the results up to God but I never want to be accused of not being a hard worker.
4. Use the platform God has given you and be a bold witness for Him. God has given each of us different platforms in life where we have the ability to influence people for His kingdom. In this book, Tebow discussed the various platforms he has been given over the course of his life and how he sought to be a faithful witness with each one. It is still amazing that several million people googled “John 3:16” after he wrote it on his eye black for the 2009 BCS championship game. The truth is some people can influence millions while others can only influence a few. The numbers don’t matter much. Faithfulness matters. Take some time to consider this question, “Have I been faithful to use the platform God has given me, whether large or small, to make an impact for his kingdom?”
5. Believers should expect persecution. Tim Tebow has a target on his back because he is a Christian. He has taken some cheap shots for what he believes but continues to take a stand for Jesus Christ. This should not be alarming. After all, Jesus warned his followers, “You will be hated by all for my name’s sake” (Mark 13:13). Paul encouraged Timothy with these words, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). If you are a Christian and you are living a godly life, expect persecution to come. Tebow’s example here is encouraging and we continue to see him stand firm in the face of persecution.
*I was encouraged and challenged while reading this book. Pick up a copy for yourself and let Tebow’s story of faith and perseverance encourage and challenge you.
“People often seem to think that when you’re following the Lord and trying to do His will, your path will always be clear, the decisions smooth and easy, and life will be lived happily ever after and all that. Sometimes that may be true, but I’ve found that more often, it’s not. The muddled decisions still seem muddled, bad things still happen to believers, and great things can happen to nonbelievers. When it comes to making our decisions, the key that God is concerned with is that we are trusting and seeking Him. God’s desire is for us to align our lives with His Word and His will.”
“Somewhere out there he is training and I am not. When we meet he will win.”