During the last couple of weeks, the Olympics have been taking place in China. To be honest with you, I have not seen any of the events and I don't feel like I've missed much. In fact, the first time I heard how awesome Michael Phelps was, I thought he was a singer or some other such celebrity.
Don't get me wrong; back in the day, I enjoyed watching the Olympics. I loved to see the Team USA members stand on the podiums receiving their medals while the National Anthem played. I suppose if I had access to television, I might watch some of the events this year.
But, then again, maybe I wouldn't. Often, my stomach turns when I see a man or woman being applauded and heralded for a mere sport while God and His faithful servants are ignored or mocked. But, I guess that's OK because the Bible does say, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
I'm not sitting here in judgment on those who choose to watch the events and festivities. Here is my challenge, however. While you watch the competitions and celebrate the USA while they accept their medals, remind yourselves and your little ones that just as there are rewards for hard work here on earth, there are rewards in heaven for the hardworking, faithful servants of Christ. Remind them that those gold, silver, and bronze medals may tarnish. Someone greedy of gain may steal it from it's rightful owner. Yet, our crowns will never be marred, they will never be stolen - they are eternal. Ask them if the accomplishments of the Olympians really matter in eternity. Does anyone even remember who won the Olympic gold medal in swimming back in the 1930's? God remembers our service to Him forever.
As a side note, as Christians, is it right to cheer and hold up an unsaved (as far as we know) man or woman as a hero? How can we stay up late cheering on our team and then not be able to get up in the morning to worship the One who deserves all glory and praise?
Challenge your children, and yourself, to think of heaven's Olympic champions. Whom does God hold in higher esteem? Whom are the angels applauding? Whom should we honor? Here's a list of names to get you and your family started:
The local pastor who faithfully shepherds his flock according to Scripture
Missionaries such as the ones you'll find here, here, here, and here.
The father and husband who loves his wife and trains his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord
The wife and mother who submits to her own husband, loves her children, and is a keeper at home
The child who honors and obeys his parents
These are the champions in God's eyes. Makes Michael Phelps pale in comparison.