Mind What Matters

  • Pete Johnson
Olympics statue

Watching the Olympics this year I asked myself, “What is it that separates these elite athletes from one another”? All the athletes who compete in the Olympic games follow rigorous training plans for years, eat a specific diet, body types are very similar, yet they are not all equal. As you know there are not many ties in the Olympic games.

What makes one athlete stronger and more successful than another? Is hard work or natural talent that separates the elite from the average or is there something else?

In a breakingmuscle.com article on this topic, the author states that it is the mindset of individuals that makes more of a difference than mere physical talent.

Below are three difference-making mindsets. 

1.)    Persistence or Preserverance; enduring until the end 

2.)    Positive Realism – Knowing that there will be setbacks, but trusting in coaches and training 

3.)    Humility – Being Humble through obedience to rules and governances of the sport 


The same thing can be asked regarding Christians. What makes one Christian stronger than another? 

 It’s not hard work; “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Philippians 2:8-9) 

We know that it is not natural talent, for we are all sinners, none of us are “spiritually talented”. “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.” ( Romans 8:5)


To succeed in becoming a strong Christian, a devoted follower of God, we too must have a certain mindset. We must have the mind of Christ. 

Paul, in his letter to the Philippian Christians, wrote

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8).

Jesus exhibited Persistence, enduring- all the way to the cross, Positive Realism, trusting in the Father- all the way to the cross, and Humility, as He humbled himself in obedience to the Father – All the way to the cross. 

We like earthly athletes should strive to become strong Christians for the Lord’s work, not in our strength, not in our natural talents, but in the strength and grace of God who has saved us.

Paul stated in Romans that we are to “Be transformed by the renewing of your minds.” Romans 12:2
 Peter wrote that we are to “prepare our minds for action.” 1 Peter 1:13 

Elite Olympic athletes must have the correct mindset to win the gold as they are dealing with the many distractions away from home. Christians must remember, the arena in which you and I are competing – this world- is filled with a hostile crowd cheering against us. Yet we need to keep in mind that during this “away game”, we must keep our eyes on the prize, and keep our minds focused. 

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2).