Tim Brown: ‘You Can Only Live a Good Life if You’re Submitted to God’ (Gospel Light Minute #102)

Tim Brown
Tim Brown

He is a former NFL wide receiver. He played college football at Notre Dame, where he became the first wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy Award. Drafted as the 6th pick in the 1988 NFL Draft, he played for sixteen years with the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders where he established himself as one of the NFL’s most prolific wide receivers. He also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He was selected to the Pro Bowl nine times and to the All-Conference six times. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2013. He ranks number two in NFL history with nearly 15,000 yards receiving and third in catches with more than 1,000. His 240 games in a Raider’s uniform are the most in franchise history.

He became a Christian as a teenager and sang in the church choir. But after graduating from college, his life took a drastic turn. At 22 years old, he was in the NFL, had a pocketful of money, and was struggling to walk the straight and narrow. After seven years in the NFL, he wanted a change. He said, “I just got tired of living the way I was living. I mean, I’ve never been a drinker or drugs. I never did that kind of crazy stuff, but the things I was doing were bad enough that I couldn’t even look at myself. I even got to a point it was so bad that when I got up in the morning, I wouldn’t even turn the lights on in the bathroom because I didn’t want to look at myself in the mirror.”

It was at this point that he chose to commit his life to the Lord. As a teammate and now as a retired football player, he takes the opportunities God has given him to be a role model to others seriously. He often admonishes children and young people to, “Go to church. You know, because 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. There’s a lot of educated fools out there, but 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.”

He went on to say, “Only when you’re living subjected 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 and know me to be a good person, I’m here to tell you that without God, I wouldn’t be that person. Without God in my life, I wouldn’t be that person because the ideas and thoughts that run through my head are just like everybody else 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,’ and I’m able to move on. But its only because of God that I’m able to do that — not because I love my beautiful wife so much. I love my kids and God knows I do I love my kids and my wife tremendously, but as a man you know sometimes that just doesn’t matter. I tell my wife all the time love doesn’t have anything to do with what happens in our world in the NFL and sports world. I mean guys get caught up in it all and things happen, but its God that can keep you.”

His name is Tim Brown.