Have you ever REALLY not liked someone because they weren’t on your team or your side? And you didn’t just not like him, but you judged him harshly and were quick to spew ugly words about him? Perhaps you were always swift to cheer against him because you felt like he was the embodiment of yuck and you wanted anybody, absolutely ANYBODY to outscore him, sack him, or beat him.
Does anybody know how I can get in touch with Tom Brady? I need to apologize.
I’ve been a Tim Tebow fan since he won the Heisman back in 2007. He was/is such a good and kind person. He wanted to be a quarterback so I wanted him to be one, too. I put him on my prayer list and prayed for him like he was in my family.
When Tim was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2010, I became a Bronco’s fan. He was going to realize his dream! I praised the Lord. In March of 2012, he was traded to the Jets. (My beloved bought me a jersey.) In April of 2013, he was released by the Jets. I kept praying. And then in June, 2013…the Patriots signed Tim Tebow for a two-year contract. I was now a die-hard Patriots supporter. This was it! I was so excited! (I’m sure Tim was, too.)
The only person standing in the way of him realizing his lifelong dream of being a professional quarterback now was…Tom Brady. I prayed for Tom, the coach and all the Patriots. Because Tim Tebow was there and he loved Jesus so much, I was sure all of the Patriots and coaches would be saved and be the biggest and best winners EVER. The End. Throw the confetti.
But the Patriots let Tim go. Being a professional quarterback was not God’s plan for Mr. Tebow. Not ready to accept that, I blamed Tom Brady. Meanwhile, Tom continued to win EVERYTHING. I rooted against him every game as he progressed to and often won Super Bowls.
Last year, after reading that Tom Brady was the 199th pick when he was drafted, I was shocked. I searched for info on this famous Patriot, finally downloading his biography on my library app.
It’s true! He WAS drafted at No. 199 in the sixth round in 2000, but it gets better. When Tom Brady was in middle school, he was over-weight and slow moving. Nobody thought he would ever play sports! He worked hard and pushed himself through high school, college, and then in the NFL. He has shown the world that he is an incredibly talented and dedicated athlete. (Never thought I’d type that!)
Now that I know his story, I’m a Tom Brady fan. When he moved to Tampa Bay, he became a Buccaneer; so did I.
Guess what! Tampa Bay is going to the SUPER BOWL!!!
Though neither Tim nor Tom knows about my prejudice, I’ve learned a big lesson. Matthew 7:1 reminds me, “Do not judge, or you, too will be judged…” I was judgy. The Life Application Study Bible commentary asks, “Do you find it easy to magnify others’ faults while excusing your own?” Clearly, I did.
Convicted, I asked God to forgive me.
Never judge someone unless you’ve walked a mile in their cleats.
Dawn Reed is a newspaper columnist and pastor's wife in Prestonsburg. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org