The Monday feature of the Worldly Saints blog focuses on a story from the sports world – current or historic. The point is to recognize athletes who are using their sports and athletic abilities to further the kingdom of God or to show how some athletes are wasting their days by not giving God the glory.
Yesterday, Jordan Spieth won the U.S. Open (the golf one, not tennis). Spieth is now in the history books for breaking three records:
- He became the youngest player to win the Masters and U.S. Open in the same year. Spieth is 21.
- He became the youngest national champion since Bobby Jones in 1923. That is a 95 year-old record that was broken.
- He became the youngest man to win a 2nd major since Gene Sarazen in 1922. That is a 96 year-old record that was broken.
In short, Spieth may be the next “thing” in American golf.
But, on Monday morning, Spieth woke up the same man today as he was yesterday. The only thing that has changed for him is a heavier trophy and some more money in his endorsement portfolio.
The status of his soul is unchanged. Winning or losing the U.S. Open will not impact his eternity. I don’t know if Spieth is a Christian or not, but I have complete confidence to say that Spieth’s eternal destiny is unchanged due to his victory at Chambers Bay yesterday.
Many athletes seek their identity in their accomplishments. They believe their value or worth is summed up in how many accolades or championships they win.
To expand from there, many people seek their identity in their own accolades or accomplishment. Some women think they will “have arrived” when they become a mother. Some people think they will “have arrived” when they get hired to do their “dream job.” Some teenagers think they will “have arrived” when they get their first girlfriend or boyfriend. Some young adults think they will “have arrived” when they find their soul mate to marry.
Identity – our identity – is and should be found in only one thing. Our identities are not to be based on our own accomplishment but on the accomplishment of Jesus on the cross on our behalf.
Watch this video from John Piper on belonging to God and finding our identities in Christ.