Praise be to God.  All glory and honor to Him.

This morning I read a story on that dealt with the issue of humility with Olympic athletes.  While I greatly enjoyed watching the athletic competition, and the success of all of the athletes who medaled.  I believe, as the author did, that humility was short-changed.  There is celebrating an achievement and enjoying the moment, and there is self-glorification.

Celebrating another gold medal or showboating?

My wife often comments on this during NFL games where a player will get up after a single play and showboat as if they have won the game single-handedly.  I have seen this across our culture as well with many trumpeting their own successes and accomplishments more so now than ever before.

Who do we think we are?  Do we think we are anything special, deserving glory and honor before other men?

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Philippians 2:3

You will never glory in God till first of all God has killed your glorying in yourself. – Charles H. Spurgeon

Before a downfall the heart is haughty,
    but humility comes before honor.Proverbs 18:12

Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory. – Bruce Lee

Now, there were a fair share of athletes who praised God for their victories, and for that I rejoice as they used their accomplishment to focus the light of Christ on the world if only for a passing moment on the world’s largest stage.

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.Galatians 6:14

Is the failure on the athletes themselves?  Surely they share some responsibility in reveling in their own insignificant accomplishments.  Is the failure on the exultation of the crowd?  The praise of the mob?  Are we not as much to blame for the athlete’s failure to show proper humility in acknowledging and praising God in victory or defeat?

Many people have praised or admonished Tim Tebow for his outspokenness about his faith.  However you fall on Tim, I believe most people would encourage their children to look at how he plays football and the humility he shows at all times.  This man glorifies God with every snap, pass, run, touchdown, interception, and sack.  His heart is with God at all times, and so everything he does on the field is for God whether good or bad.

Praying mid-game

I look at it as a relationship that I have with him that I want to give him the honor and glory anytime I have the opportunity. And then right after I give him the honor and glory, I always try to give my teammates the honor and glory. And that’s how it works because Christ comes first in my life, and then my family, and then my teammates. – Tim Tebow.

Humility is not an easy thing to master.  It is a challenge to be humble in the face of what seems like an exceptional accomplishment, whether that is a gold medal at the Olympics, a promotion at work, the achievement of one of your lifetime goals, or in the face of honor brought by others.  For that reason, this has been a difficult entry for me to write, for I am badly in need of grace and mercy.

I am a prideful person, and it holds me back daily, but despite that if you were to ask me who gave me the legs to run, the arms to throw and catch, the eyesight to see the target, and the mental and physical fortitude to compete, I would not hesitate to give all of the glory to God.  I might enjoy the contest and the victory, but not as much as the opportunity to use my accomplishment as a brilliant beacon for Christ, if only for a fleeting moment.

Direct the glory to Him, not me.

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