Olympic medalists Steele Johnson and David Boudia have made headlines the past few weeks, not only for difficult synchronized diving acts but for making bold statements about their identity in Christ. In multiple interviews, both men have spoken about Jesus Christ as second nature.
“This is exciting, this is fun, but this is not what my identity will be in for the rest of my life,” Johnson said last month after qualifying for the Olympics. “I’m here to love and serve Christ. My identity is rooted in Christ, not in the flips we’re doing.”
“We can’t take credit for this,” Boudia added. “God be the glory. This is why we do what we do, day in and day out.” He went on to say how grateful he is for the sacrifices of his coaches and family but said “nothing compares to the sacrifice we’ve had in eternity.”
The pair reaffirmed the peace they have in their relationship with Christ, whatever the outcome of the Olympics, after competing earlier this month.
Their interviews got me wondering why it’s so hard sometimes to be outspoken about my faith. Not the shove-down-your-throat, I’m-right-you’re-wrong kind of outspoken, but the Romans 1:16 kind of outspoken.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes …”
I admit I’ve been guilty of lowering my voice in a public place when I’m discussing Jesus matters. I don’t even know why; I just do. I’ve heard cashiers discuss religion and didn’t jump in. I’ve seen a waiter’s tattoo that could’ve sparked a fabulous discussion about beliefs, but I didn’t want to get spiritual.
All the open doors I didn’t go through.
And while I know not all opportunities are meant to be taken—maybe it’s not the right time or place—I can’t chalk it all up to that. My timidity is definitely part of it.
I mean, I went to seminary, I work for a ministry and I go to church, for heaven’s sake. I know how important this is. So what if I ruffle some feathers? Sometimes discomfort is a good thing. So what if I get on someone’s nerves? Worse things have happened. Those aren’t my goals, of course, but it’s not up to me how someone reacts.
Am I really going to pass up the chance to “plant a seed,” as they say, because I’m not in the mood?
Maybe it won’t make any difference.
But, then again, maybe it will.