Jordan Spieth won yesterday’s Travelers Championship in miraculous fashion. In a playoff, his sixty-foot shot from a bunker rolled into the hole and won the match. Watching his victory on television was one of my sports highlights of the year.
Spieth is now the youngest player after Tiger Woods to win ten tournaments in his career. But his astounding win is not his most important victory of the year.
Golf Digest has ranked “the top 30 nice guys of the PGA tour.” Players were graded on several criteria, including treatment of fans, being a good role model, treating the “little people” well, and being “nice when no one is looking.” Who came in first place?
Three years ago, he established a charitable trust that supports youth with special needs, junior golf, military families, and the fight against pediatric cancer. Spieth says, “When I look back on my life, what we accomplish [with the foundation] will be more important than anything I do in golf.”
He’s exactly right.
Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” That’s because so many in our culture feel so unloved. Mother Teresa noted that “the most terrible poverty is loneliness” and called this malady “the greatest disease in the West today.”
Here’s the good news: when we help hurting people in Jesus’ name, we make a difference that can change the world.
Shortly before his crucifixion, our Lord made this astounding promise: “Whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12). How can we do “greater works” than the Son of God did?
As miraculous as Jesus’ earthly ministry was, he was limited to what he could do through a single body. But when he returned to his Father, he sent the Holy Spirit to live in us (John 16:7). Through us, the Spirit would “convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (v. 8, my emphasis).
Now we are the “body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:27), extending Jesus’ earthly ministry everywhere we go. Our Lord identifies so fully with us that when Paul persecuted Christians, he persecuted Christ (Acts 9:4). When Peter ministered to the paralyzed Aeneas, he said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you” (Acts 9:34).
There are 2.3 billion Christians in the world today. What if each of us acted as the hands and feet of Jesus in the power of the Spirit? How would we impact the brokenness and sinfulness of our fallen planet?
When you meet someone today, ask the Lord, “How can I serve this person?” Then find a way to meet his or her need with Jesus’ love. Like Jordan Spieth, what you do to help people will be your most enduring accomplishment.
Our culture measures the sincerity of our faith by the sacrifice of our service. So does God.