I am a fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes, the Boston Celtics, and the Denver Broncos. I don't pay much attention to sports outside of those teams. You can imagine that I am pleased with the way the Broncos, led by Tim Tebow, have been silencing the critics for the last three weeks. Now, truth be told, when the Broncos used a first round pick last year to get Tebow I was not very happy, and I still have questions on whether or not he can have success over the long haul in the NFL, but I am cheering for the guy. Not only because he is a man of character and faith, but also because he is showing the world that you can be different and be successful.
People who cover the NFL tell us that you need to be a drop back pocket passer to be successful, and that is not who Tim Tebow is. The Broncos tried that, and in his second start this season, Tebow and the Broncos got embarrassed by the Detroit Lions. That sent John Fox and the Bronco coaching staff to the drawing board to come up with a scheme that will enable Tebow to have success, and in the last three games they have.
That is the lesson that we, as followers of Christ and as Church Families, can take away from this. In a world of sameness, God often requires us to be different. For us to be obedient to the call God has placed on our lives requires us to use the unique skill set He has blessed given to us. That is part of what being a member of Christ's body is all about:
For even as we have many members in one body, and all the members don’t have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts differing according to the grace that was given to us, if prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of our faith; or service, let us give ourselves to service; or he who teaches, to his teaching; or he who exhorts, to his exhorting: he who gives, let him do it with liberality; he who rules, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness (Romans 12:4-8; WEB).
We don't have to be a great preacher, writer, singer, or missionary to make a difference in the world for God's Kingdom. What we need to do is be faithful in using the gifts He has blessed us with to build His Kingdom. Our Church Family doesn't need to adopt the same programs that the successful church across town or across the country uses, but rather we need to think of creative ways to use the spiritual gifted and talented people who make up our Church Family. We are not called to copy our neighbor, but to be good stewards of what God has entrusted to us.
People who are successful in athletics share a couple of traits regardless of their skill sets. First, they work hard and develop their physical talents. You can't be successful without hard work. Second, the don't give up. When they get knocked down they get back up and try again. To follow Christ requires us to share certain traits with our fellow followers. One is to live with faith, faith like Abraham's faith. Regardless of your skill set this is a must, for you can't follow Jesus without it. A second one is love, for love, we are told, is what defines us as followers of Jesus. Love for God and a love for people. As we use our talents in the context of faith and love we will discover that we are being transformed into the people God created us to be.