Do We Need Olympians Who Take Stands for Christ?

I’m happy that Olympic Divers Steele Johnson, and David Boudia both won silver medals for their synchronized diving. I’m really impressed by what Boudia said. This is a wonderful story. I’m also grateful that both are brothers in Christ.

Where I get a bit wary with stories like this, is the implication that because they were “in Christ” that they won silver medals. They could have just as easily won the silver medals without Christ. In fact, there are many people who are doing that even this very day.

I also grow tired of these type stories because they seem to be used to say: “hey look, two guys won medals in the Olympics who are Christians. Are you not glad you are a Christian too? See, your faith really is valid!

We don’t need these kind of supports for validation in our faith. We don’t need men winning medals to help us as Christians. The help we need comes from God’s word and through the regular preaching of that word. We find our strength in the promises of God, and the accomplishments of Christ on the cross. That is were our faith is built up, assured and validated.

We are not going to find this by Christians showing us their medals, pointing to God in the end zone, proclaiming their faith after winning the big game. After all, the presence and glory of Christ is shown forth far more in the lives of those who were not on the winning team, because in that loss, they get to realize the true reality of the game itself. It’s just a game. It means nothing at all in the grand scheme of things. Neither winning or losing affect who we are in Christ. In fact, far more spiritual maturity comes about for those who do lose, and do realize this simple truth.

Our identity in Him is far more important than our accomplishments on a field, in a classroom, on our jobs. In fact, our identity should be part of what drives us in all those areas. If we are successful, then we should rejoice and thank the LORD for that success. If we are not successful, then we should thank the LORD for that failure, for He is sovereign over both.

All that said, what David Boudia said was monumental. It shows that he truly understand the importance of being in Christ and has a clear view of the Olympics.

 Here is Boudia’ testimony:

I just think in the past there’s just been an enormous amount of pressure and I’ve felt it. It’s just an identity crisis. When my mind is on this [points to the stadium] and thinking I’m defined by this, then my mind goes crazy. But we both know that our identity is in Christ and we’re thankful for this opportunity to be able to dive in front of Brazil and in front of the United States. And it’s been an absolutely thrilling moment for us.” -David Boudia

It is impressive and we should rejoice. Far too many athletes let their talents given to them by God, define them. As Christians, we are not defined by our gifts and abilities. We are defined by who we are in our Savior.

I know this may come as a surprise to many, given our current culture of identity politics. But we must not let it. When Christ saves us, we change kingdoms. We are no longer of the world, but in Christ’s Kingdom. We are no longer among the masses of those who hate God, but become His precious and chosen people. We are no longer judged by our merits as athletes, or any other profession or calling. We are judged righteous in Christ.

This doesn’t change, whether we win or lose the races of the world. While we are to rejoice when we do win, we always must remember that often times, the LORD has ordained for us to lose as well. That way, we can do as Boudia did when he looked around that stadium and realize that the stadium did not define him. Our losses and successes do not define us. Christ does. This definition of who we are is far more important than any other identity we may have. And it isn’t an identity that changes.

I’m grateful that we, like Boudia, know this truth. Our Redeemer paid a great price to give us our identity.

Read the article here.

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