It’s difficult to explain, and sad to witness, but evidently even the most elite athletes feel obligated to defend their domination of the field with exaggerated declarations of their greatness.Read the rest.
One decorated swimmer compares himself to Michael Jordan as the greatest ever in his sport. Meanwhile a wildly celebrated sprinter proclaims, “I’m now a legend. I’m also the greatest athlete to live.”
What is it that compels the most gifted and successful people to clarify their own significance, especially when all the news outlets, Facebook timelines, and the world’s retweets stand ready to do it for them?
Why do they never realize that these embarrassingly prideful sound bytes are splashes of mud on their otherwise sparkling performances? Why do they allow themselves to forever scar the memory of their victory?
Sadly, it’s no different for us who, instead of winning gold medals, more often lose, disappoint, and leave our friends, family, and co-workers relatively unimpressed. Pride.
John Piper comments:
The nature and depth of human pride are illuminated by comparing boasting to self-pity. Both are manifestations of pride. Boasting is the response of pride to success. Self-pity is the response of pride to suffering. Boasting says, “I deserve admiration because I have achieved so much.” Self-pity says, “I deserve admiration because I have suffered so much.”
Boasting is the voice of pride in the heart of the strong. Self-pity is the voice of pride in the heart of the weak. Boasting sounds self-sufficient. Self-pity sounds self-sacrificing.
The primary experience of the Christian Hedonist is one of helplessness and desperation and longing. When a helpless child is being swept off his feet by the undercurrent on the beach and his father sweeps him up just in time, he does not boast; he hugs.