Former NFL star Kurt Warner has been where Tim Tebow is today–a rising star, and outspoken about his Christianity. Yet Warner says he learned the hard way about being so in people's faces with religion–and that Tebow needs to tone down the religious rhetoric:
"You can't help but cheer for a guy like that," former NFL star Kurt Warner said. "But I'd tell him, 'Put down the boldness in regards to the words, and keep living the way you're living. Let your teammates do the talking for you. Let them cheer on your testimony.'
"I know what he's going through, and I know what he wants to accomplish, but I don't want anybody to become calloused toward Tim because they don't understand him, or are not fully aware of who he is. And you're starting to see that a little bit."
Christianity Today adds that Warner advises to let Tebow's actions do the talking:
Tebow is getting more attention than usual since he became the Broncos' starting quarterback last month. Denver was 1-4 when Tebow became the starter, and they've won five of six games since with him at the helm. With that, though, has come more scrutiny — and not just about his football skills. Former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer said recently that he wished Tebow would "just shut up after a game. . . . I think that when he accepts the fact that we know that he loves Jesus Christ, then I think I’ll like him a little better. I don’t hate him because of that, I just would rather not have to hear that every time he takes a good snap or makes a good handoff.”
Warner was more diplomatic, but essentially had the same message: Chill out on the God talk. And he speaks from experience: After leading the Rams to a Super Bowl victory, Warner thanked Jesus on national TV, and kept doing so for some time afterward. Till he learned his own lesson, which he now imparts to Tebow.
"There's almost a faith cliche, where (athletes) come out and say, 'I want to thank my Lord and savior,' " Warner told The Republic. "As soon as you say that, the guard goes up, the walls go up, and I came to realize you have to be more strategic.
"The greatest impact you can have on people is never what you say, but how you live. When you speak and represent the person of Jesus Christ in all actions of your life, people are drawn to that. You set the standard with your actions. The words can come after."