Tag Archives: Olympics

Don’t Lose Your Endorsement


He had it all – fame, power, a brotherhood, and the best endorsement anyone can imagine. And yet, because of his poor choices, a series of bad decisions, he lost it all. Of course, I’m talking about Judas Iscariot. Why? Did you think this was another Ryan Lochte article?

Ok. Perhaps the description was misleading. But almost two thousand years before Ryan Lochte was born, those words could have been spoken of Judas. In fact, the Bible records Judas as one of a very important group of twelve.

Judas was among the twelve who performed miracles; he acted under the authority of Jesus; and he declared the Kingdom was at hand (Matthew 10:1-6; Mark 6:7). He appeared to have the endorsement of Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God. Yet he threw it all away over a few bad decisions in the last week of his life.

Ryan Lochte is in a bad spot right now. He made a series of mistakes in the last week of the Olympics. Because of his drunken misconduct and lies, Lochte may have ended his career. At the very least, he damaged his name and lost several lucrative endorsements – over $1 million!

We have all faced disappointment. And sometimes we react badly. When Lochte’s big race came, he was disappointed. Not only did he lose to Michael Phelps, but he didn’t even get a medal! So he went out to “blow off some steam,” and he behaved badly.

I won’t excuse it. But I understand it. He can even be forgiven, since he apologized and asked for forgiveness. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be any consequences. Companies don’t want their name associated with the kind of behavior Lochte modeled.

But, if you are a Christian, there is a far greater endorsement that we would never want to lose. Jesus has endorsed you. He placed His good name and reputation on the line for you. As Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 10:12, “let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.” Don’t lose your endorsement. Jesus knows you will not be perfect, but He expects His disciples to strive for better behavior (Colossians 3:5-11).

“Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him…”

Urged To Finish

runners-olympic, hugOccasionally, at the Olympics, we get the privilege of witnessing something greater than a world record being broken. Because these moments are so rare, they are even more precious than gold medal victories. Sometimes, because of an accident, we get to see what true sportsmanship is all about.

Often, a person’s true nature and character are revealed in times of stress, pain, and disappointment. It is easy to be “all smiles” when you are at the top of the podium receiving a gold medal. But how we react when we get tripped up and see our dreams crashing in front of us, well…that is a true measure.

That is why I was so impressed with American athlete, Abbey D’Agostino, and New Zealand’s, Nikki Hamblin, in Tuesday’s 5,000 meter run. Due to a mid-race collision, Hamblin tripped and fell, causing Abbey to fall as well. What they did next represents a greater spirit than competition.

You see, as Nikki sat there, stunned, Abbey D’Agostino put her hand on Nikki’s shoulder, and urged her to finish. Hamblin recalled Abbey yelling, “Get up, get up! We have to finish! This is the Olympic Games. We have to finish this.'” And as the pair went on, when it was obvious that Abbey had trouble finishing due to her injury, Nikki returned the favor, encouraging Abbey to finish.

When the race was finished, Hamblin said a great thing about D’Agostino: “I am so grateful to Abbey for helping me.’ “That girl was the Olympic spirit right there. I am so impressed and inspired by that.” Nikki and Abbey didn’t know each other, but now they have a bond that can never be broken. They overcame adversity together and finished the race.

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus reminds us what our attitude should be. It wasn’t the champions of that day (Pharisees, Priests, etc.,) who stopped to help the man who was beaten and robbed. It was a lowly Samaritan who showed the right heart (Luke 10:30-37).

The Apostle Paul saw some Galatians who had been “running well” in their faith but had stumbled because of bad teaching (Galatians 5:7). He helped pick them up, and he encouraged them to run their race “by the spirit,” not the flesh (Galatians 5:16). Finishing the race is more about how we run than coming in 1st (2 Timothy 4:7).

Everyone stumbles in life. We all need encouragement. There are two types of runners generally: 1) Those who say, “They can pick themselves up!”; or 2) Those who say, “Let’s finish this race together.” What kind of runner will you be?