Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of Christian spirituality and sport.
Seen by Men
“Beware of practising your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”-Matthew 6: 1
Praised by Men
Christian Atsu may not be a household name around the globe. However, in Ghana, he is a true hero. Atsu died in Turkey during February’s devastating earthquake. He was a national footballer from the Ghanian team and, in recent years, played in Turkey with a club called Hatayspor. At different points, there was speculation that he somehow survived the tragedy but sadly he did not make it.
Yet, his impact off the field of play may have been greater than on it. The BBC recently reported about the amazing impact Atsu had supporting the Becky’s Foundation orphanage in Ghana which he hoped to convert into a school in the future. Had it not been for that article, I honestly would have never known about his beneficence and generosity. Therein lies the beauty of the story.
At first glance, it seems that only persons within those circles knew of his kindness. It did not appear to be regular headline news. He served, supported, gave his money and went about his business. It is now, after his death, that some of us are hearing of what he did behind the scenes. I am inspired.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave the challenge to avoid doing righteous acts so that others may see. This is hard! The adulation of men is so addictive that it is often difficult to keep our motives pure. What about impressing others? Can I not get my name in the news every so often? Well, based on Matthew 6 above, if we do that our thinking is ephemeral and our perspective, worldly.
Noble acts should not be done to get human praise. They should be done simply because they are the right thing to do. The motivation is love. The reward is eternal.
Rewarded by God
If God alone sees when you do good, nothing else really matters.
If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.