As reported by Townhall.com,
“A golden moment took place alongside the Rio Olympic diving boards Monday night. The Chinese team of Chen Aisen and Lin Yue may have taken first place, but U.S. divers David Boudia and Steele Johnson stole the spotlight in their NBC interview by giving all the glory to God after their silver medal-winning performance.”
I watched the Olympic event, listened to the interview, and I think it’s great that these athletes spoke of their identities in Christ when interviewed after winning their silver medal! At the same time, the headline at the Townhall article could have been more accurately written. Here’s the headline:
“USA Divers Tell NBC Reporter They Won Silver Medals Thanks to Their ‘Identity in Christ’”
That title seems to say that they won because of their identity in Christ, which is a different issue than what I actually heard. David Boudia, in a recently released book, expressed the pair’s sentiment during the interview:
“It’s totally freeing when I stay in tune with scripture,” Boudia said. “I don’t have to worry if I miss a dive. I go into competition and it’s like, ‘Praise God no matter what.’ If I do well, that’s awesome. I praise Him. If I don’t do well, praise Him even more. Competition looks way different now.”
The pair’s prevailing sentiment wasn’t that they won because they are Christians, which the article’s title can be interpreted to say. Rather, they said that self-identity ‘in Christ’, is more significant for them than their identities as Olympic medal winners. Ultimate significance is tied to our identity in Christ, not in being world class athletes or any other great achievement in this life. That’s the truth of the matter, as I see it.
Sometimes the ‘demonstrations’ of star athletes gives the impression that God somehow ‘made sure’ one of His kid’s took the medal, made the great play or touchdown, etc. I don’t think that we as Christians should be communicating that sort of message. There are plenty of ‘wolves in sheep suits’ out there that preach exactly that, that if you are a believer, you ought to be the best of the best at whatever you do.
The point I am making is that David Boudia and Steele Johnson communicated something of far greater significance than the title of a Townhall article suggested, and that’s important.
Food for thought.