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Photo:Martin Bateman

"I love the sense of satisfaction that I get when I’ve done a swimming workout or race, and know that I gave my whole being and heart to God in every moment of the swim. It’s the best worship I can offer him."

Penny Heyns


Show proper respect to everyone. 1 Peter 2:17

As a preparation for the Olympics, the next seven meditations will be based on the London Organizing committee’s (LOCOG) seven principles. They are:

Determination Excellence

Respect for others is a Christian principle. There are a number of New Testament references which remind us of this:

The marriage relationship is to be based on mutual respect (1 Peter 3:7, Ephesians 5:33)

Slaves are to respect their masters – in the modern world we can apply this to anyone in authority (Ephesians 6:5)

Paul challenges the Romans to give everyone the respect they deserve: “Give to everyone what you owe: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour”. Romans 13:7

The English Football Association has launched a Respect Campaign. “Respect is the collective responsibility of everyone involved in football, at all levels, to create a fair, safe and enjoyable environment in which the game can take place”. Isn’t that exactly the kind of sports environment which would please God?

As Christ’s representatives in sport, we have a great responsibility. We are to live our lives in a way which “may win the respect of outsiders”. 1 Thessalonians 4:12. The way we treat people matters and will be noticed. Do our team-mates or training partners see us as someone who is positive and encouraging – or as someone who is critical and complaining?

I know of an Olympic champion jumper who makes a habit of thanking the officials who rake the sand and measure the jumps. This is a simple example of giving respect and not thinking that we are more important that others just because God has given us a special talent.

Who can you show respect to today?

This series was inspired by Sarah-Jane Alley (Salvation Army)

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