by Timothy Lo on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 3:20pm
I’ve been seeing and hearing lots of comments about Lin in the NBA being like Tebow in the NFL. I’m not sure exactly what the correlation is supposed to be, except that it probably has something to do with being a Christian. But I, personally, don’t want Lin to be the Tebow of the NBA…
I think many Asian-Americans, especially males, have tried to fit into America and are still trying to be accepted by the general Caucasian culture (or the African-American culture, as it might be in the NBA). In that sense, I hope that Lin doesn’t feel the pressure to BE like anyone, but just be himself. I actually get choked up when I see his highlights, because Lin is shattering the typical Asian-American stereotypes (he’s not an immigrant like Yao Ming, Dice-K, or many others) that I grew up with. If his success continues, he will redefine perception and be a trailblazer himself. I don’t know what it looks like, or what it will do for Asian-Americans. But he has much more on his shoulders and in his potential than Tim Tebow does, because he is not only Christian, but an Asian-American Christian.
Tim Tebow, God bless him, is doing HIS thing. He’s being faithful to how God has called him to wear his faith on his sleeve, to speak, and pray, and whatever else he wants to do out in the public eye. There are PLENTY of football players who are Christians, and many Patriots players even go to regular Bible studies together. Lin is going to live out his faith the way God has called HIM to, which might be quite differently. And if I had to guess, as an Asian-American I think it probably *will* be differently. So I don’t want him to be like Tebow, and I actually wouldn’t mind if the media pays less attention to him being a Christian than him being an Asian.
Nothing against Tebow, who is being the faithful servant that God has called him to be. But it seems that his polarizing impact in the media has only a certain and particular type of positive influence for advancing God’s Kingdom. From what I can tell (I could be wrong), he really encourages other Christians, but he’s not really challenging non-believers to reconsider Jesus Christ.
If I had to guess, a quieter, not-in-your-face, dedicated, steady, and long lasting witness might be the kind that an Asian-American athlete might have. I think of Kurt Warner or David Robinson, and others, who live out their faith with quiet, unashamed strength. People know they are Christian and for the most part respect them for it, not mock them like they do with Tebow.
I don’t know Lin’s personally, so who knows, maybe he’s the Tebow-type and maybe God has called him to be like that. But if not, I hope to hear and read more about him being the kind of person we all want to be, Asian or not, Christian or not. I think that’s an example of a celebrity athlete that I’d love to see.
What I’m praying for: that Lin finds a good church community that can also see him as just a regular guy, and a mentor who can help him continue to grow in understanding who God is calling him to be.
…and for the C’s to trade for him (no offense, Rondo; he can come off the bench? =P)
[re-posted with permission]