The Olympics and the Eternal Crown
Written by Christi Given | February 24, 2014
As the Olympics wrapped up this week, I began to think of the medals given at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and the rankings of the medal standings. As the ceremonies came to a close, Russia ended up in the lead with 33 medals, followed by the U.S. and Norway.
Spiritually, I was analyzing and comparing the earthly rewards to our eternal inheritance. Back at the first Olympics, in Greece, they distributed ivory crowns. Training, competing and being a part of the Olympics was a high honor and achievement, just as it is today. According to the “world’s standards,” being rewarded with a medal or crown is the “definition of success” and is the attainment of a goal. There is value, honor, admiration and respect for the competitors and it inspires people around the world
“And every man that striveth in the games exercised self-control in all things. Now they [do it] to receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”-1 Corinthians 9:25
According to the BBC,
“At the ancient Olympics, the only prize was the crown of olive leaves cut from the sacred tree at Olympia. What counted most of all was the fame and supreme glory of becoming an Olympic victor, embodying the concept of arête, or excellence? There were no medals. Only the winner’s name was recorded, since coming second or third counted for nothing. At Olympia, the olympionikes, or victor, was allowed to set up a statue of himself to commemorate his success.”
Even after reflecting on all of these high standards and achievements, the truth is the earthly accolades and awards will perish. What I want to remind fellow believers is that we know we have an eternal crown that will never perish.
“Be faithful, even to the point of death and I will give you the crown of life.” – Revelation 2: 10
The Olympics requires much discipline, determination and self-sacrifice. We can observe two things when studying God’s word and comparing the Olympics to our race in life. One is that the earth is passing away and the earthly rewards will fade, while the heavenly rewards are everlasting. Next is that we should be just as disciplined as these competitors in the race, as we look to heaven and Jesus as our prize.
We don’t look to the things of the world, manmade toys or materialistic items to bring satisfaction, peace or joy. No, in fact, the Bible teaches NOT to look at the earthly things that rust and are corruptible. We are attaining and striving for a goal that is unseen now. We are trying to get the crown of eternal life with God, not the earthly applause of man. We need to be disciplined in the Word (spiritual food), just like the health of an athlete is monitored and considered. We need to be in prayer and make sure we are spiritually fit. Amen girls?!
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? RUN IN SUCH A WAY TO GET THE PRIZE. Everyone who competes in the games goes into STRICT TRAINING. They do it to get a crown that WILL NOT LAST, but we do it to get a crown that WILL LAST forever.” -1 Corinthians 9:24-25
It seems hard to focus on God when we see the media, celebrities and the applause of man glorified here on the earth. Remember who is the Prince of the World when you get discouraged…Satan runs the earth and its worldy systems. So don’t worry if you don’t get to a place where people applaud you or if you don’t feel recognized or loved.
The important thing is to know the TRUTH, that you are LOVED by the everlasting God. No matter what we do, we should have an audience of one. That is at least a great reminder and is my goal in life. To honor and glorify the Father in the my life and through representing Christ in how I loved people.
Whatever field you are in, remember the truth is that money, fame and popularity don’t give you peace, joy and ultimate satisfaction. Only the Holy Spirit can fill you in your heart. Only the blood of Jesus can cleanse you, and renew your mind to be clear, focused and ready to do the things of God’s Kingdom. If we continue to think in a worldly way or try to mimic the world, we will fail ultimately because it doesn’t last and it is empty. Only God’s way is the best way and He has a better plan for you than you do for yourself! (Read Romans 8: 11-17)
“Let us hold unswervingly for the hope we profess for He who promised is faithful.” –Hebrews 10:23
Nicole and I are living witnesses of God’s glory and His ultimate power. He is the only one who can heal, deliver, provide, restore and love you the way you should be loved. We cannot put our trust in things, idols, money or people. Let us FIX our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, as we run our race of faith. Remember, we are passing through and this is a test in life, who will you serve? Who will you run to? What crown are you striving to attain?
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” –Romans 12:2
PI readers, can you think of other scriptures regarding eternity and focusing on Jesus? Comment below!! I love you girls!