Tim Tebow won his first NFL playoff game last Sunday night, leading his underdog Denver Broncos to a victory over the Pittsburg Steelers with an electrifying 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime.  The home crowd erupted in jubilant celebration and a record-setting Twitter tsunami was unleashed: 9,420 tweets per second, the most ever for a sporting event.  The Tebow faithful were more convicted and convinced than ever.  Doubters were once again scratching their heads in amazement and begrudgingly expressing admiration for Tebow’s ability to lead his team to thrilling wins.  Haters were left stewing in their own cynical juices.

In an article on Monday, Mark Kriegel praised Tim Tebow for what he believes is his most amazing trait of all, humility.  In spite of all of the criticism and ridicule that he has received for his open expressions of faith and his sometimes erratic play on the field, Tebow has refrained from uttering a single “I told you so” after a victory.  He simply (and consistently) thanks God and his teammates for making him look better than he is.  

Kriegel couldn’t resist a reference to Tebow 3:16, calling attention to the Denver quarterback’s intriguing stat of 316 passing yards against the Steelers.  Soon after the game, I saw a few friends’ Facebook statuses that read, “316: Coincidence?”  I didn’t want to rain on anyone’s faith parade or start any unnecessary debates, but, if I had chosen to comment, my answer would have been “Yes, just a coincidence.”  Tebow’s passing yardage on 10 completions was owing to his scrambling and throwing skills, his receivers’ abilities, the protection of his offensive line, and the coverage (or lack thereof) of the defensive secondary.  Does anyone really believe that God caused the other 11 of Tebow’s passes to be incomplete so that the divine math would work out to be exactly 316? 

I thought Kriegel made an astute observation when he noted that many people seem “intent on demeaning religion by cross-pollinating it with sports.”  If we profess to believe in a God who is so small and trivial that He fixes football games, no wonder so many people in our world are reluctant to believe in Him.          

Colin Cowherd shared an excellent commentary about Tim Tebow and the Broncos’ victory on his ESPN Radio show on Monday morning.  Though Cowherd is, by his own admission, not a religious person, he stated that he had absolutely no problem with Tebow’s faith because he sees him as being genuine and non-hypocritical.  According to Cowherd, Tebow is not one of those athletes who says, “I love God,” and then hits on the flight attendant on the flight home. 

What impressed Cowherd the most about Tim Tebow last Sunday was his apparent ability to forget his dismal performance in the previous three games and play as if it had never happened.  In December, Tebow had been “the worst quarterback since they invented the facemask,” Cowherd said.  Cowherd attributed Sunday’s extraordinary performance to Tebow’s faith, his “inner scoreboard” which allowed him to have “faith-based amnesia.”  He could follow going “0 for December” with the best game of his career on Sunday.  Cowherd stated, “I’m not into religion, but to deny what his faith does for him is silly.”  Well said! 

It’s not that Tim Tebow can’t mentally recall past disappointments and failures on the field, he just isn’t owned by them, debilitated by them, or defined by them.   

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14).

Faith-based amnesia! 

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