Olympian Sydney McLaughlin Explains Why Young People Should Follow Jesus Christ

Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

“Some days, the friendships and support are through the roof. Others, you wouldn’t even know it was there. Especially in a world full of inconsistency, it’s such a breath of fresh air to find true stability in Jesus.

We are constantly shifting our efforts toward one another based off emotions and circumstances. The peace of knowing I will always have a friend, always have His support, and always have His LOVE; makes even the loneliest of moments feel full. My soul finds rest in knowing He is not like us.

He doesn’t change, and He will never leave me. Giving the ability to be completely content, no matter the situation. Simply because, I don’t have to face it alone. That. Is. Love.”  This was Sydney McLaughlin’s May 16 Instagram post, where she explained where she gets her strongest source of support and rest.

This statement of faith came from someone who is only 21 years old and who, just last night in the Tokyo Olympics, broke the woman’s 400-meter hurdle world record with a time of 51.46 seconds. So now, what’s most important to her? Winning Olympic Gold in Tokyo?

“I see myself impacting the lives of others by living by example through my actions and kindness,” she said. “Beyond being a great athlete, I want to be known as a good person of strong faith and integrity.”

Her Instagram bio has a very simple statement: “Jesus saved me.” What does this mean? Saved her from what? Well, for starters, from herself. She includes herself in her opening statement that we are all unloving because we are inconsistent. We shift our support for one another based on our emotions at the moment.

Our love is a selfish, self-interest love, based on how we feel or what we can get in return. The Bible calls this “missing the mark” – it is sin. God defines sin as anything that misses His mark of who He is as a Person. And Sydney knows who she really is – she needs Jesus to save her from herself.

When Sydney says “That. Is. Love”, here’s a deeper analysis of the love Jesus is offering. You can see why Jesus is so precious to her: 1) His love has no self-interest – it gives without expecting anything in return or considering the cost; 2) His love is a choice He makes, 3) His love is active, not reactive, not emotional nor based on circumstances; 4) His love is unconditional, without caring if the person rejects the love offered, and 5) His love doesn’t consider how loveable the person is. His love is her true stability.

To prove Sydney’s point, here’s a walk through the Bible to show Jesus’s promise to not only never leave but also to live within anyone who, as our verse this week says, comes to Him.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (Jesus in John 3:16)

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” (Jesus in John 14:23). 

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, … to comfort all who mourn, … to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (Jesus in Isaiah 61:1-3, Luke 4:18)  

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Moses explaining that Jesus promises to always be with me – from Deuteronomy 31:6 to Hebrews 13:5).

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah explaining that Jesus promises to always be the Source of my strength – from Isaiah 41:10 to Philippians 4:11-13).

“The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One will save. He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you in His love; He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah explaining that Jesus promises to always quiet me with His love for me – from Zephaniah 3:17 to our verse this week, Matthew 11:28-30).

The Evidence of Faith’s Substance _ Article #460

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