Underdog: a competitor thought to have little chance of winning a fight or contest
I love to root for the underdog. Perhaps it’s because of their courage and tenacity in the face of overwhelming odds or because I can relate to them personally. How about you?
In some ways, it’s part of our culture, rising from a group of colonies, truly the underdogs, who together defeat the English army. Our country’s beginnings were very much a David vs. Goliath story.
These Olympic Games are delightfully full of underdog stories, like 17-year-old Lydia Jacoby, gold medalist in the 100-meter breaststroke, who said after the race, “I was definitely racing for a medal,” she said after her race, according to USA Today. “I wasn’t really expecting a gold medal, so when I looked up at the scoreboard, it was insane.”
Other wonderful upsets are
- US fencer Lee Kiefer clinched her first-ever gold medal on Sunday in the individual women’s foil fencing event, beating defending champion Inna Deriglazova in the final.
- Filipino weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz became the Philippines’ first-ever gold medalist.
- At just 18, Anastasija Zolotic became the first American in history to win a gold medal in women’s taekwondo
Gold medalists that surprised everyone, perhaps even themselves.
The scriptures are full of underdog stories;
- John 4: The woman at the well
- Matthew 9: The paralyzed man lowered through the roof
- John 8: The woman caught in adultery
- Matthew 26: Simon, the leper
- Matthew 9: The woman with a blood disease
- Luke 8: Mary Magdalene demons cast out
- John 18: Peter, after denying Christ
Christ specifically came for all the underdogs of this world.
Mark records his response to self-righteous Pharisees who criticized him for eating with publicans and sinners. “And hearing this, Jesus said to them, “it is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2-17
Whether we admit it or not, we’re all underdogs, a bunch of sinners saved by grace. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8
What’s even more amazing is that through these underdogs, you and I, Christ has chosen to change the world. “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
Think about it; He chose to use you and me, the underdogs, to transform lives. What an amazingly awesome God we serve!
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