Tim Tebow is taking heat for ‘Tebowing’

By October 28, 2011 Sports In Focus

USA Today reports, “When a quarterback takes a knee it’s usually a good sign for his team, indicating that he’s running out the clock on a certain victory. But that act is getting an entirely different treatment from Tim Tebow’s detractors. ‘Tebowing’ — the act of the ultra-religious Tebow kneeling down in prayer during games –is trending on Twitter today. And a mocking website — Tebowing.com — has even sprung up. There are scads of photos posted there of people Tebowing in traffic, in operating rooms, in Grand Central Station, everywhere. The website also offers merchandise, including T-shirts emblazoned with this definition of Tebowing: “To get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different.”

The reporter goes on to say, “On the positive side, maybe Tebowing will get planking out of our lives (Planking is a fad consisting of lying face down in an unusual location). Or do you think the Tebow haters are going too far?”

What do you think of “Tebowing’? Is Tebowing a cheap shot? Will it become the next fad? Most importantly, can the Lord be glorified through Tim Tebow taking a knee in future games or will it lead to more mockery?

No doubt Tebow haters are going too far with some of their mockery, but it should remind us that sports and life are to be about glorifying God in all that we do. “So whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” 1 Corinthians 10:31.

I have learned that one way to glorify God involves bearing “much fruit” as described in John 15:8. It helps me to break it down into two categories. First, it begins with the correct attitude. I like to call this “Attitude Fruit” based on the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. This allows others to see the results of a Spirit-filled life.

Second, it is connected to “Action Fruit” or right action (Philippians 1:9-11). It’s both the right attitude and the right action that leads to reflecting the glory of God through sports. It’s being more concerned with God’s approval than man’s approval. God’s glory must be our primary purpose in everything and it begins with a willingness to sacrifice self and self-glory.

Finally, it’s important to remember that glorifying God begins with trusting Christ. It’s not possible to give God glory until you come to Christ. God is glorified when we bow and confess Jesus as Lord. Tim Tebow didn’t create the idea, God did! If you want to give God glory begin here. “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” Philippians 1:9-11.


1. What do you think of “Tebowing”?

2. Read Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” How do these attitudes affect your performance in sports?

3. What are examples of “action fruit” in your sport that would reflect the glory of God??

4. Here is a list of 5 other ways to practically glorify God. Discuss each one.

a. Receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior. (Philippians 2:9-11)

b. Confess your sins. (1 John 1:9)

c. Give praise to God. (Psalm 50:23)

d. Endure suffering. (1 Peter 4:14, 16)

e. Proclaim God’s Word. (2 Thessalonians 3:1)


Gordon Thiessen has served on staff with the Nebraska FCA since 1986 He has also founded Cross Training Publishing (www.crosstrainingpublishing.com). He has written Team Studies on Character and edited The Athletes Topical Bible. He is married to Terri and has four grown children.

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  • Nate Lewis says:

    The Body of Christ has to expect this. I heard a wise preacher once say: “Whatever the Lord will Bless, the Devil will try to mess” The world has always attacked public figures who profess their faith and act on it daily and in this case every quarter of a football game.

    I hope this inspires more student-athletes to pray when they need it and otherwise. As a Raider fan I am not supposed to root for anybody near Mile-High, but I am rooting for Tebow to one day hoist a Super Bowl, and MVP trophy. All things are possible with God.

    Keep on Praying Tim!

  • Carol says:

    If “Tebowing” causes others to even “think” about Jesus then let them do it. Let’s face it, it’s causing a discussion here isn’t it? It sure has better substance than “planking” does. When Jesus was on this earth he was mocked and ridiculed for everything He did by those who hated him they just didn’t call it “Jesusing”!

  • Katelyn Clickner says:

    Tim Tebow can pray when ever he wants to and where ever he wants. He is playing and praying to an audience of One (Jesus Christ).