Bright Spot: Are you experiencing 'the Jesus difference'?

Pastor Rick Sams
Pastor Rick Sams

No matter your opinion on this man, most do have an opinion. He makes an impact, if not in the game, then on the practice field, in the locker room, in ticket and jersey sales and way beyond.

No, I’m not talking about Baker Mayfield, who was supposed to “mess over” the Cleveland Browns real good when they met his new team in a grudge match. (Baker used more graphic language.) This was to be payback for the way the Browns unceremoniously dumped him. It didn’t go Baker’s way.

I’m talking about another questionable, unconventional QB. In 2012, nearly every sportscaster regretted Tim Tebow going to the New York Jets. Their prediction: “damaging rivalries, competitive clashes of egos, and confusion over who is the quarterback and team leader.”

I’m fascinated by 11-time national champion football coach Larry Kehres’ philosophy on using two quarterbacks, which he did on occasion, and successfully. This was the Jets’ plan.

When the controversial, outspoken Christian backup quarterback arrived in New York, several sportswriters commented how well it went, much to their amazement … or disappointment. Sportscasters love to predict and be right; not only the scores of the games on the field, but also the scandals in the “games” off the field.

These football forecasters tried, but tripped all over themselves, coming up with the word to describe what was going on among the Jets after Tebow’s arrival: “comraderie, family, cohesiveness, and teamwork.” They didn’t have the words to accurately explain the new atmosphere after Tebow landed. One even called it: “love.”

Men struggle to use that word. That may be because in English we use it to describe loving our dogs, teammates, tacos and wives. The ancient Greeks had 32 words for “love” they could choose from. Would that have made it easier for us to say it, guys? I doubt it.

The difference among the Jets certainly could NOT have been attributed to their cantankerous coach, Rex Ryan. But the difference could have been credited to Christ. He’s the difference Tim Tebow brought to the Jets. But very few will point to Jesus to explain the positive impact on team spirit or scores.

This should make us all ask: What is “the Jesus difference” in my life? If we follow Jesus, that difference will show. If it doesn’t, why not? Jesus told us to “Let our light shine!” (Matthew 5:14-16) The darker the times, the more our light will shine.

If you haven’t decided to follow Jesus, why not? A big difference he makes is he offers us real life, not the false, short-lived excitement so many things do, which over-promise and under-deliver. Jesus promises a life that matters and is full of meaning: “I have come that they may have life and life more abundantly.” (Jesus in John 10:10)

Are you experiencing and expressing “the Jesus difference”?

Rick Sams is pastor emeritus of Alliance Friends Church.

This article originally appeared on The Alliance Review: Bright Spot: Are you experiencing 'the Jesus difference'?