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Tim Tebow’s kingdom-centered approach to life after football

Ryan Denison is the Senior Fellow for Theology at Denison Forum, where he contributes writing and research to many of the ministry’s productions.

He is in the final stages of earning his PhD in church history at BH Carroll Theological Institute after having earned his MDiv at Truett Seminary. Ryan has also taught at BH Carroll and Dallas Baptist University.

He and his wife, Candice, live in East Texas and have two children.

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Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Tim Tebow (85) high fives fans after an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Tim Tebow (85) high fives fans after an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

Tim Tebow is back in the news again after his attempt to restart his NFL career ended in the latest round of roster cuts. It’s far from the first time his dream of playing professional football has hit a rough patch however.

Tebow’s NFL journey began back in 2010 after being drafted twenty-fifth overall by the Denver Broncos. While there was some doubt at the time if he could make it as a quarterback due to his unorthodox throwing mechanics, he put together enough highlights and game-winning drives across his first two years in the league to give hope that he could be the answer in Denver. Unfortunately, it was downhill from there, and he was out of the NFL by the start of the 2015 season. 

He has spent much of the past six years as a college football analyst on the SEC Network while climbing the ranks of minor league baseball with the New York Mets in the offseason. Despite not having played baseball since high school, Tebow managed to make it to AAA—one step below the major leagues—in 2019 and was invited to Spring Training before the start of this season. 

Instead, he chose to retire from baseball and try his hand in the NFL once again. 

His college coach, Urban Meyer, took on the task of leading Tebow’s hometown Jacksonville Jaguars this winter and invited the now-former quarterback to try out for the team as a tight end. Tebow signed with the team on May 20 and, by all accounts, did better than expected throughout training camp. Once the games started, however, his lack of experience at the position showed and Tebow was released on Tuesday morning.

What’s next for Tim Tebow?

It’s unclear what will happen with his career at this point. Chances are that he could return to studio work and continue to advance his career on television, but he has also devoted more and more time to his philanthropic efforts in recent years. In addition to opening a hospital in the Philippines, his foundation recently hosted its seventh “Night to Shine” event to raise funds for his work with special needs children. 

He has also begun more work with organizations combatting human trafficking. As he said last November, “We’re trying to rescue as many trafficked survivors as possible. We’re trying to get ‘Night to Shine‘ in every country in the world. We’re trying to push a lot of things that I’m super passionate about that mean so much to me.”

So while the details of his future remain uncertain, its trajectory will likely remain fixed on helping those in need and advancing the kingdom of God. 

A kingdom-centered approach to change

Change is inevitable in life. Sometimes we get to have a hand in deciding when it comes. At other times, change is foisted upon us, and there’s nothing we can do but either accept it or remain stuck in place while the world around us moves on. 

One of the few things that can make coping with change easier, however, is maintaining a kingdom-centered perspective that keeps your gaze fixed beyond your immediate circumstances and focused more on how God can work through them. 

Tebow exemplified this approach well when, following the news of his release, he tweeted “Thankful for the highs and even the lows, the opportunities, and the setbacks. I’ve never wanted to make decisions out of fear of failure and I’m grateful for the chance to have pursued a dream . . . God works all things together for good. Romans 8:28.”

So the next time you encounter a time of change—whether it be of your own making or due to forces beyond your control—remember that the best way to move forward is by trusting your circumstances to God and asking him to show you how he is already at work to bring redemption and growth out of them. 

Will you join him in that work?