CBN.com Tim Brown is one of the greatest football players ever. He ranks No. 2 in NFL history with nearly 15,000 yards receiving and third in catches with more than 1,000. Only five players have more than his 100 touchdown receptions. His 240 games in a Raider’s uniform are the most in franchise history. The fans love him -- maybe a little too much…
“I’ve seen guys with Tim Brown tattoos on their bodies, and that kind of freaked me out,” Tim confesses to The 700 Club. “I called security when I saw him coming!”
Most of his fans know that Tim is a Christian and that God is at the center of his decisions. But it wasn’t always that way after the Heisman trophy winner graduated from Notre Dame and headed to the Raiders.
Tim says, “Certainly being 22 years old and being out in Los Angeles with a pocket full of money was not helpful to my Christian walk, that’s for sure.”
But after being in the NFL seven years, he wanted change.
“I just got tired of living the way I was living. I’ve never been a drinker or drugs, but the things I was doing were bad enough that I couldn’t even look at myself,” Tim says. “I even got to a point [where] I wouldn’t even turn the lights on in the bathroom, because I didn’t want to look at myself in the mirror. There was just a time when I said no more.”
He committed his life to the Lord. Did players notice a difference?
“Yeah, they notice the difference but they don’t necessarily believe the difference,” he says. “They look at me like, ‘It’s just a matter of time before you curse that referee out again.’ ‘It’s just a matter of time before we see you hanging out with some girl you probably shouldn’t be hanging out with.’”
Shortly before his retirement, Tim was tested by his own teammates. During a losing streak, a few players made a request to their leader.
“’I think this team really needs for you to get in front of it and just curse everybody out. That will turn the whole team around.’ For that split second, that thought runs through your head because you know this is your career. I can do it. God will understand. But I got to thinking this is nothing but the trick of the devil. If I would have done that, no matter what I would have said, no matter how great the year would have been, the guys would always realize that, when times get tough, Tim would break just like everybody else. So I just told them no. They were dead serious about me doing it, and I just said that’s not something I’m gonna do.
“God gives you a talent for a reason to live for Him and certainly to do it on the middle of a football field. It’s an incredible opportunity to really get some heads turned.”
And Tim takes being a role model very seriously.
“Every time I talk to kids, that’s the one thing I leave them with: go to church,” Tim urges. “In my opinion, there is nothing more important you can do with your life. Education is great, but I tell them I know a lot of educated fools out there. It’s the Word of God and the Spirit of God that can keep you from being crazy and doing the things that we shouldn’t be doing.”
There’s no question his walk with Jesus Christ has made an impact on his marriage.
“I told [my wife] before we got married, ‘Hey, you don’t have to worry about me, because I will always love God more than I will love you.’ Initially she didn’t like that, but after being in the league a couple years, she understood what that was all about . Only when you're living subject to God are you capable of leading a good clean life -- not a perfect life because nobody’s gonna be perfect but you can lead a clean life.
“If there are people out there that know me to be a good person, I'm here to tell you that without God I wouldn’t be that person. The ideas and thoughts that run through my head are just like everybody else’s out there. But it’s because of God that I’m able to go, ‘Hey, we don’t do that. That’s not who we are.’
“God knows I do I love my kids. I love my wife tremendously, but as a man, that just doesn’t matter. I tell my wife all the time [that] love doesn’t have anything to do with what happens in our world in the NFL. Guys get caught up and things happen, but it’s God that can keep you.”
Tim may not suite-up in a Raider’s uniform anymore, but he continues to seek the Lord for strength every day.
“When I sung in the choir back in the day, there was a song we used to sing called ‘God Is’,” Tim recalls. “The song started out: ‘God is the joy and strength of my life.’ The song ended up, ‘God is my all and all,’ and I think that’s what it all comes down to.”
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