Dear TLS Community,
But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. James 1:22
We are now only a few days away from the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics.
I love the Olympics. The chance to see world class athletes from around the world in competition is simply amazing. Even with questionable judging at times and the undercurrents of international politics and doping scandals, there is something wonderful about the competition that remains above all of that – most of the time. When you see athletes of countries that may currently be disagreeing with each other embracing, smiling, laughing and speaking with each other this transcendence of external political issues is a breath of fresh air. The rhetoric of the Olympics is more than talk – more than an ideal. The athletes are doers of that word or ideal.
I think I am of the old school. The Olympics is not an end in itself. The sports involved in the games are an opportunity to develop healthy bodies and strong character. The tragedy is that many of the best competitors reveal a shallowness of heart and a self-indulgence that betrays the greater good.
St James affirms that what we believe is ultimately what we live. The tragedy of those who only ‘hear’ is that we ultimately deceive ourselves. When what we believe is in words only, then how we live has little to do with it. The worst of this is not what others may think about us, it is that we have a false picture of ourselves and we miss the power and joy of living what we say we believe. This is never a matter of perfection. It is a matter of learning from our mistakes and growing from them. Lives that are open to learning from mistakes are lives that are self-reflective. It is the self-reflection that opens us to discover the distance between what we believe and how we live. And with that discovery, comes the pleasure of becoming more at ease with oneself. And that’s a goal, a gold medal, worth our attention.