Going for Gold: What Does Your Treasure Reveal About You?

With the 2016 Olympics just behind us, we saw many pictures of what the Olympics meant to the athletes. At one end, expressions of ecstatic joy for winning a gold medal. At the other, expressions of pure disappointment for not reaching the podium.

One of the most memorable pictures for me is that of China’s backstroke swimmer, Fu Yuanhui. Described as the “exuberant Chinese swimmer,” Ms. Fu had won the bronze medal for the women’s 100-meter backstroke event, which she initially didn’t even know she had won.

Although she would have liked to have gotten gold, she celebrated the fact that she surpassed herself. In her words, “To exceed one’s self is even better than winning a gold medal.”

Many of us put our heart and soul into those things that are shiny and glittery. A sports trophy. An academic accolade. An important position in a prestigious organization. They can give us a reason to show others our “worth.”

However, these glittery things ultimately don’t define who we are. Rather, it’s our perspective of these things that define us and our character.

Matthew 6:21 says that “…where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Do we spend our time and energy chasing after those things that make us look good on the outside, or do we pursue that which will truly make us champions and winners on the inside?

Don’t get me wrong. Getting a gold medal, or any medal, is an extraordinary feat. It’s only when we put all our emphasis on obtaining gold at the expense of our values and morals that will reveal our true character, our “treasure.”

Ms. Fu exhibits great sportsmanship in one of the most challenging arena there is. It’s a treasure that cannot be taken away from her.