Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly Wednesday blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of spirituality and sport.
“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”-Romans 12:3
Rethinking your roles
Recently, a few celebrity athletes have been in the news for reasons relating to their roles on their respective teams. Cristiano Ronaldo has been used increasingly as a substitute for Manchester United. Russell Westbrook has been asked to embrace coming off the bench, rather than starting, as he plays basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers. Their responses have gained media attention.
Ronaldo refused to come on as a substitute in a match last week and compounded this resistance by prematurely leaving the ground. His actions have divided opinion. Did he disrespect his manager, teammates and fans? Does he see himself as bigger than the squad and too good to be a role player? Westbrook, on the other hand, has said the right things outwardly but it is hard to say how he really feels on the inside.
Compare Paul George from the Los Angeles Clippers who in a recent interview shied away from being in competition with fellow superstar Kawhi Leonard. When told that both he and Leonard were number 1 on their team, he retorted by saying quite clearly that Leonard is number 1 and that he is number 2. No fight, no dispute, no ego.
George, in my respectful view, best exemplifies the spirit of Romans 12 above. He thought of himself, not too highly and likely not too lowly either. His view of himself was measured and sober. This manner of self-evaluation is sound both in the spiritual and secular worlds. It is not promoting low self-esteem, but rather an even-keeled assessment of one’s character. Grace empowers our growth, while humility allows us to value everyone. The final outcome is rather attractive.
Self-respect and respect for others need not be in competition with each other.
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.