Friday, February 19, 2010

What is a Champion?

Wikipedia says: The victor in a challenge or contest.

Okay. Don’t trust them %100?

How about time-honored Websters?

A winner of first prize or first place in competition.

We’ll see lots of those as the Olympics progress.

Champion can also mean:

A militant advocate or defender.

One that does battle for another’s rights or honor.

Thank God for those serving in the military and their families, willing to be our champions. I’d like to see them get as much attention as cultural winners like The Saints or Avatar.

I think we all probably have personal champions, those few people in your life who made such a difference, you’d be a different person without their influence. Maybe someone even saved your life, whether literally or figuratively, it doesn’t matter. They are your heroes.

Being a champion and honoring champions – nothing wrong with that. In fact, I believe we are supposed to do our best, go for gold, as well as reward a job well-done.

Idolizing champions, though – not so good.

Our culture sort of thrives on so-called champions: Heisman Trophy winners, Oscar recipients, Forbes Magazine A-listers, Oprah…

In many cases, those champions have become America’s demi-gods. People look to them for inspiration, guidance, hope and become blinded to Truth.

Yes, I’m talking about the extreme. I’m not saying we shouldn’t admire champions, people who put forth an effort to accomplish amazing feats of strength, intelligence, benevolence, talent. I have my favorites like anyone else.

But I am saying we shouldn’t idolize these folks.

Hate to break it to you, but Oprah did not hang the moon.

Shocker. I know. Take a moment to breathe.

Idolizing is bad all the way around. God tells us not to, and for good reason. First, no one is worthy to be idolized – only God is. He’s the only perfect one, and putting your hope into the persona of human perfection will always disappoint you. Also, it’s bad for the object of admiration, applying impossible pressure, fueling the pride that goes before falling. Ever heard of a golfer named Tiger?

I hope you believe that my intentions here are far from judgmental. I feel so bad for Tiger and can’t imagine the pressure to perform, to keep up the façade of perfection he lived under. But that’s my point. Admiration turned to idolization turns to disaster.

Here is what I’m trying to say – look to Jesus as your champion.

Have you ever seen Him that way?

Well, let’s check the definition.

Is He winner in a competition? The Victor of a contest? In a cosmic sense, I would say, yes.

Has He battled for your rights and honor? Uh… BIG yes. He battled death itself on the cross to give us rights and honor we didn’t deserve.

Does He serve as your advocate and defender? Every day, at the right hand of the Father.

Go on, admire Olympians and movie stars and fire fighters and brain surgeons…

But champion Jesus.

Here’s an oldie but a goodie – watch this! I know it’s seven minutes… but by the end, you'll be glad you took the time.

Have a great weekend, Dry Ground friends!

(photos by


Anonymous said...

Great post. You know, at our church, we're doing a series on Counterfeit Gods -- this falls right into that, doesn't it?

You put it nicely as usualy, Lori.

Happy Friday!!

SarahtheBaker said...

You can tell so much about a person by whom they consider to be their heroes. It pays to be selective.

As I got older, I was pained to see that I didn't have anyone, anymore that I considered my champion, my hero. It was very sad and disillusioning to realize that.

But I got my heroes back! I found that we all need them, but in the end, only God will never fail us.

Good show, Lori! Thanks! :)