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I used to dislike Tim Tebow.

I know.  I am going to hell.  There was something about him that rubbed me the wrong way.  Every time he talked, he set off my “cheesy, obnoxious Christian” radar.  He seemed, for lack of a better word, fake.  Like a politician.  He was always saying the right things around the cameras.  Always thanking Jesus for helping him win football games.  He just seemed, fake.  And fake bugs me.  Big time.  I realize that is definitively judgmental of me.  And now, I realize something else.

I was wrong.

Listening to this interview following the game, something dawned on me.  Tebow has a lot of critics, which is no surprise … but sometimes, even his compliments are tucked amid snide remarks.  Tonight, he played a great game in a clutch situation.  #15 had every right to defend himself afterward.  To say that he proved himself.  To say that everyone was wrong, and that he is the best quarterback since Elway, and revel in the hype of the moment.  He could have talked about himself in the third person – which is the true sign you’ve made it.  He could have cold shouldered the interviewers and walked away.  I would have.  I would have been sarcastic and snarky right back to the interviewer.  But Tebow did none of that.  What did he do?

He thanked Jesus.  He thanked the fans (not HIS fans, but the fans).  And he deflected all the praise of his accomplishments to his teammates and coaches, and the hard work they put in.

That speaks a lot toward the character of a man.  In a society that consistently lifts up men who remind us from their platforms that they aren’t role-models, it is refreshing to see a man who leads with character, integrity, and resilience.

Am I a fan of Tim Tebow, the football player?  No.  Do I think that Jesus is making Tim Tebow win football games?  That He was making the corners bite, the safeties slip, the containment break, and the bootleg pass find its target?!  No.  God probably wasn’t even watching the game.  I’m sure He was far more busy making things new, comforting the broken, and bringing hope to the hopeless.

Am I a fan of Tim Tebow, the man?  Yes.  I’m a fan because he is a good leader.  A leader that sets an example rather than giving an excuse.  And that’s important.   Wouldn’t our world be a better place if more leaders led from humility and resiliency than from self-interest and scapegoating?

So, what about you?  What’s your Tebow take?