Are Christians Making Life Harder for Tim Tebow?

It's easy to understand why Christians want Tim Tebow to succeed in the NFL.  Rarely has there been a more charismatic, outspoken proponent of the faith on the public stage.  Tebow is handsome (so I'm told), articulate, and a heckuva football player - the kind of guy that would be homecoming king at any high school in America.  Well, at least the red states.  (Did I mention Tebow was homeschooled?  Another reason many evangelicals root for him.)  Christians also see in Tebow (accurately or not) a man who has been discriminated against because of his faith.  Some have asserted this was the underlying reason he did not begin the year as the starting QB for the Denver Broncos (he has since taken over the starting job and has won four of five games).  There are also those in the national media that seem to have an unwarranted venom for the young man.  (Looking at you Merril Hoge.)  So in Tebow, Christians see a fellow believer being persecuted, and the tendency is to rally around him.

Here is my concern with all that.

I hope in rooting for Tebow that we do not elevate him to a status that no one can live up to.  By the comments of some, one might be tempted to think that Tebow himself is the second coming.  It's almost like we're making Tim Tebow into the pastor's kid.  You know, the one that everyone pats on the head and tells them that they're going to make a fine preacher, just like their daddy.  The one that everyone thinks is perfect.  How does that usually turn out?

The fact of the matter is that Tim Tebow, as a popular professional athlete, is surrounded by temptations that most of us could never imagine.  And as much as we'd like to think we do, none of us know Tim Tebow's heart or even what he does in his free time.  I'm not trying to imply anything.  I just know human nature.  (My own nature, mainly.)  So maybe before we prop him up too much, it would be better just to let Tebow be a football player.

Now don't get me wrong.  We can still appreciate the fact that he is a fellow believer, and root for him because of that.  (I know I will.)  And we should definitely pray that God help him stay true to his faith.  But perhaps it would be better for us and him both if we simply looked at Tim Tebow as a football player that happens to love Christ, rather than "THE Christian football player."