The impact and relationship the coach has with the individual athlete is evident during the competitions and when the athlete finishes well. Over the months and often years together, the coach knows what is best for the athlete when they are under pressure to perform their best. Their words and instructions are measured to propel them to their highest level. When the athlete’s performance is over, they bring stability during the anxious moments awaiting the finish time or judges scores. They celebrate and affirm their accomplishments. Then they step back and allow the athlete to fully savor the moment.
What would your performance level as a follower of Jesus Christ do if you placed yourself under the best spiritual mentor in your area? What if you had a team of highly dedicated Christians that you met with each day and spiritually worked out together? What if you spent hours of hard work each day honing your spiritual gifts?
Young Jewish boys pursued this spiritual development before and during the time of Jesus. Parent began their children’s spiritual training, but by age five or six, Jewish boys would spend at least half a day, six days each week for about five years studying in the synagogue. By age ten they would have memorized the Torah which was the first five books of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
The best students would continue on and from the ages of 10-14 would memorize the remaining Hebrew Scriptures. The best of the best would present themselves to a well-known, respected Rabbi and ask to become a disciple of him. If accepted, the student would leave his home to be trained by the best spiritual mentor in the area.
It is amazing to consider the volume of spiritual knowledge they gained through die-hard dedication. It is tragic to know that many Rabbis and their students did not recognize Jesus as the Son of God written about in the Hebrew Scriptures they had memorized.
The Olympics can inspire us to pursue God more intentionally and intensely. There are benefits of pursuing Jesus Christ with a group of Christians on the same pursuit. Having a mature follower of Jesus as a spiritual mentor can cause your gifts to develop that are more effectively used to honor the Lord. The best spiritual mentor will pursue transformation rather than simply an increase of information.
1 Corinthians 8:1-3 Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2 The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. 3 But the man who loves God is known by God.