I had a dream about Tim Tebow last night. Unfortunately, it wasn’t about the outcome of tonight’s playoff match-up with the New England Patriots. In the dream Tim and I were friends. He trusted me and I was giving him sage advice about the challenges of celebrity life. Because I have so much experience with that.
Tebow was voted the #1 athlete by fans this week in an ESPN poll. “In Tim We Trust” signs can be seen at every Broncos game. “I Believe in Tim Tebow” was the title of an article I read this past week. Tebowmania reigns. At least for one more day.
(My good friend) Tim is, from all accounts, just a regular guy who loves Jesus and happens to play pro football. He works hard to stay humble and grounded by surrounding himself with people who know him, love him and will tell him the truth about himself. He believes God has given him a platform and he wants nothing more than to make HIS name famous.
Yet maintaining this perspective must be difficult in a culture that insists on enthroning its athletes, actors and artists, turning a platform into a pedestal. We feel this intense desire to idolize and worship someone or something. Athleticism, Beauty and Success are our gods.
There is nothing new under the sun. I’m reminded of this account in the Bible…
In Acts 14, Paul and Barnabas were preaching in the town of Lystra, when a man who had been lame from birth was healed. The people responded to this miracle by exclaiming, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” (verse 11b) The whole town jumped on the bandwagon and called a prayer meeting. To worship Paul and Barnabas. Oops.
But look at their response: “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them.” (v. 15)
They had their theology straight. He is God, capital G. We are not. Give up your gods, little g, and serve HIM.
We were made to worship. The problem comes when we substitute false gods for the One True God. When we elevate created things over the Creator. When we idolize men and forget their Maker.
Only once has God taken on human form. And unlike Paul and Barnabas, Jesus did not refuse worship when Thomas proclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). HE is the One worthy of our praise and adoration.
Lesser gods will fail us. Idols can do nothing to save us. The only way off of a pedestal is down. So worship the Living God, and Him alone.
I’m sure Timmy would agree.