By Cole (on Bleacher Report)
Growing up as a fan of the Georgia Bulldogs, I have learned that there is no greater evil than the Florida Gators.
As someone who has only been on this earth 18 years, I can only remember losing game after game at the hands of the hated Gators.
The past three years, I have painfully watched Florida win two national and SEC titles. However, one thing that always sticks out to me—whenever I have the misfortune of watching Florida football—is "Phil. 4:13" inscribed upon the face of quarterback Tim Tebow.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." It is the battle cry of Born-Again Christians across the globe. It is the one thing that allows me to see through the Florida Gator in Tim Tebow.
Sharing a common faith with a person goes beyond school colors, fight songs, or rivalries. I respect Tim Tebow more as a person that I do a player, and ultimately, he is the prime example of where I strive to be in my walk with Christ.
Bulldog fans can call me a traitor all the want, but I'm a follower of Christ first. I'll take sides with Tebow as a believer, not a player.
The July 27 issue of Sports Illustrated contained a story titled, "Tim Tebow: A Man of Many Missions." It was an inspiring article about Tebow's faith.
My favorite quote from the article came from his teammate, David Nelson, who stated, "He wants people to see what he believes through his actions." And whether it be through his interviews or his missions in the Phillipines, no one can deny that he leads by example.
Unfortunately, in the Aug. 17 issue of Sports Illustrated, the letters to the magazine were filled with hatred. These two letters are what inspired me to write this article:
"You gotta love Time Tebow? I sure don't! His message of literal Christian fundamentalism is wreaking havoc on women, gays and nonbelievers all over the world. How about spreading a message of redemption and hope without the religious intolerance? That would be a Tim Tebow I could love!"
"Now we have another quarterback besides Kurt Warner telling us during postgame interviews that he owes every great thing that happens for him on the football field to his faith in Jesus. I knew there had to be a reason why the Almighty included a mute button on my remote control."
Despite that fact that these people ridiculed our faith, I realized that these are the same people Tim Tebow would continue to love.
In conclusion, I thought that I could go ahead and set the record straight in regards to where I stand when it comes to Tim Tebow. I cannot wait to see what else God has in store for Tim Tebow's life, but whatever it may be, I guarantee "Phil. 4:13" will forever be inscribed on his heart.
Photo: Kevin Cox/Getty Images