Thursday, August 23, 2012

Responding in Grace

"The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things." –Proverbs 15:28 (NASB)
(Albany, OR)—As someone who has been on this planet for more than a few decades (I'm not saying just how many), I know that no matter how well—or how poorly—a person does, there will always be someone to put them down.

As a Believer in Jesus, and an imperfect-but-devoted follower of Him, I know we have the choice to carefully choose our words, and act with grace when criticism comes, instead of reacting with something much less character-building. And, in fact, the former is what we are called to do as Christians.

Tim Tebow So, when I see someone like Jets backup QB Tim Tebow (a solid Believer)—who is not having the best pre-season so far—being constantly criticized, most recently by former NFL QB, Boomer Esiason, I admit that it makes me cringe. (Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

But, I guess I shouldn't be surprised at Tim's grace-filled reply.

Boomer, who is now a CBS NFL analyst and radio host, said of Tebow, "If I was the Jets, you want to know what I would do? I would cut Tim Tebow. I really would. I'm telling you right now I would, and I'll tell you why I would: It's just not in any way, shape or form benefiting this team."

Esiason—who (USA Today pointed out) never did take the Jets to the playoffs when he was their starter, yet Tebow did in his first starting role with the Denver Broncos—went on to say that Tim Tebow "has played some of the worst football that any quarterback has ever played in the history of the game."

Of course, after such callous comments, the press waited to see how Tebow would answer; if his Christian witness would hold up.

"I've heard nothing but great things about Mr. Esiason," responded Tim. "I know he was a great player here, and I just wish him nothing but the best in his announcing, and God bless him."

. . . Grace and wisdom in that response.

This young man accomplished a lot last season in the NFL, but with each sincerely kind and un-defensive answer he gives; I think he accomplishes even more.

And, I despise pedestals, so I'm not putting him up there. I'm merely using Tebow's example to point out to myself first, and to all of us, how much better it can be to "ponder how to answer," as the Bible notes in Proverbs 15:28.

It's something the Lord is still giving me plenty of opportunities to put into practice—something I hope will one day be second nature.