“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14
The fact that the Olympics are now over is very bittersweet. Bitter in the sense that we have another four years before we will witness the incredible athletic ability and the coming together of nations around the world like only the Olympics can bring…sweet in the sense that I will now regain my productivity! I literally spent 1-2 hours a day watching the competitions each night, and I must say that I’m excited to get that time back.
Among all the athletes, there were a few that stood out. Naturally, you will always have the ones who boast in themselves, those who reek of arrogance and pride, and although they are truly great at their sport (i.e. the fastest man on earth), there is an amount of excitement for the athlete that is lost when I see how they so proudly react to their win. What stands out to me more than anything are the ones who recognize their fierce competitors, the coaches that trained them for years, and the journey that brought them to this shining moment. Even more than that, I love when they thank their families, the ones who truly supported them in every sense of the word for the majority of their lives. And even beyond that, there are the few who give all the glory to God…and not in a cheesy, stale, conviction-less way, but from an honestly genuine heart of gratitude and thankfulness to the God who created them and gave them the ability to do what they do. It’s simply a beautiful thing. These athletes have every reason in the world to not be humble. They’re literally on top of the world in their sport, the best of the best. They have fame and glory, and rather than revel in that glory, they reflect it back to the One who gave them their platform. It’s rare and it’s beautiful.
Power, fame, prestige, and glory all have this incredible capacity to corrupt. It takes intentionality to refuse the corruption that these things so often bring. A life surrendered to Christ and His purposes is the one who chooses only to boast in the cross of Jesus Christ and not in self. Interestingly enough, a surrendered life to Christ typically is one that is blessed and attracts recognition. So how does one keep 0neself from being tainted by the corrupting power of fame and man’s praise? By choosing to boast in nothing but the cross. This is not a false humility. That’s not what Christ is going for. He desires for us to reflect all honor and glory back to Him, thus sharing with the world His light and His truth. When praise and recognition come your way for a job well done, accept it. It’s ok to do that. But do not boast in it. Boast in the One who gave you the ability to do what you do so well. Humility is incredibly refreshing to be around, isn’t it? Be that refreshment to others around you.