|From OPEN Sports.|
Does anybody remember that time that team leader caved under pressure? He was the quarterback or something. He had the chance to stand up for Jesus, he had the opportunity to stand up for the truth and he caved. The crazy thing is, it was like two or three times. I think he had another time in his career where he screwed up again. That time he feared man more than he feared God. He was so much afraid of what others would think that he compromised his faith. What a loser.
What was his name? Oh yeah: the apostle Peter. You see, Peter did one of the worst things imaginable. He denied ever even knowing Jesus Christ. One of the three times, he cowered in fear to a servant girl. The other time Peter screwed up big is described in Galatians 2. Peter had no problem eating with the Gentile “sinners” as long as the influential Jews weren’t around. He didn’t want a bad reputation, so he withdrew from the Gentiles when the Jews showed up. Peter ignored the beauty of the gospel because he was worried about what other people would think of him. That’s a pretty big screw-up.
What’s amazing about the end of those stories is that eventually, Peter was able to stand, because his God made him able. He was kept by the grace of God. He was faithless, but God remained faithful. That’s the great thing about grace: we’re not kept by the strength of our faith, but rather the object. Jesus, our living hope, is able to sustain us. Everywhere we have caved, He stood strong. His perfect performance, death and resurrection are what save us.
Imagine if Peter lived in today’s generation. Think about all of the trash (in Christ’s name, of course) that would be talked about him in the blogosphere. He didn’t just not take a stand for right or wrong, he denied Jesus and misrepresented the gospel.
Which brings me to one Tim Tebow. He recently cancelled a speaking engagement at First Baptist Church of Dallas. We all think we know why, but do we? Not fully, at least. I’m personally going to withhold judgment until I hear what he has to say. Tim has always represented Christ well and he has a lot more to lose than I do. Others have already gathered their torches and pitchforks. Why are Christians so quick to eat their own? Why not pray, instead of speculating and slandering? If it turns out he caved, guess what? So will I and so will you, and when we do Christ will be there to pick up the pieces.
I’m not saying that we should ever turn our back on Jesus. It is time for Christians to stand against evil and for righteousness; truth be told, it’s always been time. I pray that by God’s grace I will be able to serve him well in the face of the prevailing culture. I also pray that when I don’t, my family doesn’t turn its back on me. If it we find out that Timmy caved, we should treat him the same way that Jesus did Peter.
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32 ESV)