The Olympics has long been an event that inspires millions of people around the world. This week a couple of interviews with some Aussie sports stars has made me think about Olympians And The Identity Lens.
The first one was with Cate Campbell. She was the overwhelming favourite to win the womens 100 metre freestyle courtesy of setting a new world record just a month ago. After leading the race and looking like she would win gold, she fell off the pace and finished sixth. Talking to the reporter afterwards she said,
“I have always said that I didn’t need a gold medal to have self worth. That’s being put to the test at the moment.”
Next is Joe Ingles of the Australian mens basketball team after a hard fought 10 point loss to the USA. The Americans are so dominant they have not lost for their past 70 odd Olympic games. However after a tightly contested game the Americans were a little upset with how tough the Australians played. Joe’s response stood out to me,
“We don’t care what other people think about us. We don’t care what media, players, teams, anyone says. We know within our group and our locker room who we are and our identity.”
These athletes have articulated a really important truth. Your identity is not in what you do, or in what others say about you or think about you. “Olympian” is not their identity. Like Cate Campbell experienced, things don’t always go as planned. We don’t always win. Sometimes we totally mess up. Other people will criticise you, tease you and let you down – even if they like you! If you find your self worth in these things you will find yourself in trouble whenever something doesn’t go right.
Every single person has a lens in which we view ourselves. This lens is made up of beliefs that we have agreed with as we have experienced life. What did you believe about yourself when you were first rejected? Abused? Forgotten? Overlooked? When these things happen to us, we tend to agree with some lies about who we really are. We all have some false beliefs going on behind the scenes that prevent us from actually being all we were created to be. This is actually what sin is. Sin is when we fall short of the glory of God. We were created to be glorious, but when we agree with the wrong stuff it messes with us. We become a twisted version of our best self.
Jesus incarnation, life, death and resurrection is God speaking to all of humanity saying, “I created you and I love you no matter what.” Jesus has shown us that all people have worth despite what people think, say or do. It is an eternal truth, it cannot change and one that Jesus died to prove to you. When He preached He called for repentance (change your mind) and belief. Jesus wants you to view yourself and the world through truth. He wants you to be who you were made to be. He wants to swap those lies for truth and set you free so you can be the best version of yourself.
You may not have a gold medal or compete in the Olympics but remember this: You are amazing! You are Loved. You are wonderfully made. Do you believe it?