The Olympiad

Over the last couple weeks I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching the Olympics. Normally, I’m not a big sports fan, but there’s something magical about the Olympics that I simply cannot resist. Maybe it’s the opportunity to see sporting events that normally fade into the background after the Games. Maybe it’s the excitement of watching someone compete with the chance to set a new world record. Maybe it’s just a time to celebrate greatness in others along with the rest of the world.

As I was watching a Track & Field event the other day I realized something I had never noticed before. At the start of the race the announcer read through the list of the runners that were to compete in the event. What took me by surprise was that the audience cheered for each runner. Sure, some athletes got a bigger applause than others, but even the runner who is from a country whose population is less than the amount of people in the stadium got a warm welcome. As I watched this I realized something profound…why is it that we can cheer for the best in everyone during the Olympics, but after the Games we go back to tearing people down trying to expose the worst in them?

As believers in Christ we are called to love everyone…no matter the circumstance. Scripture is clear about love:

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” – 1 Corinthians 13:7 (NLT)

After the medals have been awarded and the records are entered into the books we need to remember what it feels like to look for the best in others. We need to apply this same passion to the people in our lives and truly believe that they are doing their best. If we believe the best in others we afford ourselves the opportunity to allow the best in us shine.

Image credit: MattSims