Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly Wednesday blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of spirituality and sport.
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”-2 Corinthians 9:8
I have been enjoying a recent study on the Greek word charis, a term which can have multiple meanings including grace, gift, favour, benefit or thanks. It is a powerful word with potentially life-changing impact. We get our English word charisma from this Greek expression.
On a number of occasions this year, I have commented on the refreshing observation regarding athletes who take time to give thanks after their victories. Some thank God, others show appreciation for their coaches and still others applaud the sacrifices made by family and friends.
Not for the first time, sports fans in Trinidad and Tobago recently would have seen such expressions of thankfulness from Jereem Richards who, together with cyclist Nicholas Paul, were responsible for five of the six Commonwealth Games 2022 medals won by the twin-island Republic in Birmingham last week. Paul, himself, is often overflowing with words of thanksgiving. May we never get tired of seeing this.
There is something special about gratitude. It suggests that the one giving thanks has a grasp of humility, team spirit, self-awareness and sobriety since no one truly experiences success by themselves. Somewhere in there, they know that have been recipients of charis, whether from a divine or human source.
Back in the first century biblical world, Paul, in the context of financial generosity from one spiritual community to another, connected grace, gratitude, generosity and good works. The one who receives a gift is so filled with gratitude that he or she cannot help but do good to others. It is a beautiful, continuous, life-giving cycle.
Do not simply focus on doing good. Start with gratitude and the good will follow.
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.