In a recent interview with Fox News, Tim Tebow opens up about a time in his life when he had to choose between the almighty dollar and integrity. Not surprisingly, the former NFL quarterback chose the latter. Little did he know, he would soon be cut by the same coach who urged him to turn down the tempting offer.
Back in 2013 when he was signed by the New England Patriots, Tebow was approached with a $1 million endorsement deal that would only require one day of work. However, out of respect for his coach and loyalty to his team, he chose to ask for coach Bill Belichick’s seal of approval first.
Tebow detailed the story in his new book Shaken:
Well, I didn’t want to be a distraction on the team. I wanted to be just another guy in the locker room. Someone that could work, someone that could be a backup to Tom, and I didn’t want to be a distraction having stuff all over the headlines. That’s why I called coach Belichick to say ‘what do you think about this, this is a great opportunity to say yes to, but I want to do what’s right for the team first.’
He appreciated me calling but said ‘hey, listen I would prefer if you didn’t do it.’ So, of course, I didn’t because I put the team first. And that’s not something I look back and regret at all. It was me trying to honor the team, and if I could do it again I’d have done the same thing.
Just three weeks later, Belichick cut Tebow from the Patriots, and the quarterback’s dreams of following in Tom Brady’s footsteps and claiming Super Bowl Championships were shattered in an instant.
But Tebow says he holds no resentment toward Belichick for his decision.
“I got cut from the team, but you know I don’t regret that, or I’m not bitter at him for that. It was an amazing opportunity,” he said in an interview with Hannity.
However, that didn’t make the rejection any easier to swallow:
“I was sitting there on the edge of my bed thinking ‘I have no home, no car, no one wants me to do what I want to do,’ and you know this book is written for times like that where it feels like everything around you is shaken. Now what do I do? What do I hold onto? What is my foundation?”
But instead of getting bitter or angry at his coach or circumstances, Tebow decided to place his trust in the only foundation that establishes our true identity: Christ.
“So many times in life, we feel that we’re defined by certain things, our identity is found in certain things, and what happens when those things crumble? What happens when you’re an NFL player and that goes wrong? What happens when you find your identity in a relationship and it goes bad? What happens when you find it in a job and you lose it?”
Tebow’s words of wisdom amidst hardship are a sobering reminder that our eternal hope is always in God, not million-dollar contracts, touchdowns, relationships or careers.
He concluded in saying, “God has an awesome plan for your life. You matter, and you are important, and that’s a bigger identity than anything that the world could ever offer.”