Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of Christian spirituality and sport.
Walking in pride
“Now, I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble”-Daniel 4:37 (ESV)
Walking in humility
So, we are finally here-literally. We started with thirty-two teams and now only two remain standing. The route to the final was different for both France and Argentina, neither team playing undefeated throughout the World Cup. Yet, for many, the battle of the M’s, Messi and Mbappe, is a thing of dreams especially since they are club teammates at Paris Saint-Germain in the French League 1.
Here’s my question for you, though: did the two most humble teams reach the final? You see, I believe that humility always wins, even if it means that victory is delayed for a while. I am confident that we have seen this truth lived out in our lives and in the lives of others. The idea of the proud and arrogant being opposed and the humble being exalted is both a biblical truth and a life truth.
Now, based on Argentina’s taunting of the Dutch players when the former beat the latter in the quarterfinals and considering that Mbappe apparently laughed when England’s Harry Kane missed a crucial penalty in their quarterfinal, both Argentina and France should have lost their next games, right? Well, wisdom principles like those found in the Proverbs, for instance, do not work like that. They are general truths, not 100% guarantees but they should not be approached flippantly.
Maybe Mbappe and Argentina’s players addressed their public reactions privately. Perhaps they had a mind change, known as repentance or metanoia in Christian circles and decided to renounce those types of celebrations. Interestingly, I could not help but notice that both France and Argentina appeared more restrained, even humble, in their semi-final victories. Their team huddles actually looked like team prayers after each goal was scored. I can’t be sure, but it looked that way.
Come December 18, 2022 there can only be one winner. Will it be “Vive la France!” or “Viva Argentina!”? Congratulations to both teams for reaching this far and as they say: “May the best team win” Or maybe, based on my musings today, we should say: “May the most humble team win” (although technically, I ought to say “better” and “more humble” since there are only two teams, right, English teachers?)
Never forget that, faithfully and consistently, grace is shown to the humble.
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.