Reach for the Gold
I want to be an Olympian


The story of Gabby Douglas is a great inspiration.  Here is a young teen who was willing to leave her family, move to a new location, and devote herself to winning the Olympic gold. Watch the attached news clip.   

I want to be an Olympian
I want to be an Olympian

1. What was the turning point in Gabby's life?


2. What sacrifices did she make to prepare for the Olympics?


3. The Apostle Paul makes a parallel between living a successful Christian life and preparing for an athletic event.   In what ways is Gabby's story similar to what Paul describes?Philippians 3:13


4. 2 Peter 1:5-9 teaches us that we have to work hard in order to become more than just a casual Christian.  What rewards are there in moving from a casual Christian to a committed Christian?


Additional Scripture Verses


Philippians 2:15-16

Philippians 4:8 

Romans 12:2 

Matthew 5:13-14, 16

2 Timothy 2:19-21














From Casual to Committed


Recently, at the 2012 Olympics, audiences around the world had an opportunity to hear the Christian testimony of gold medalist Gabby Douglas.

Gabby Douglas
Gabby Douglas

Often the most gifted and talented athletes fail to reach their goals; not because they lack athletic ability, but because they lack dedication and discipline. 


The same can be true of us in our Christian lives. We have everything we need to succeed as Christians.  However, faith and desire must lead to action.  We cannot afford to be casual Christians.  James 1:22ff says, "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in the mirror.  For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he is like..  But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevers, being not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing." (ESV) 


This lesson is designed to help you move beyond being a casual Christian by identifying areas of your life that may need improvement, then implementing a plan that will result in growth and development in that area of your life.

First Step
Identify Your Weakness


Psalm 139:23 says, "Search me, O God, and know my heart! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (ESV)


2 Peter 1:5-9 gives us a list of virtues that are a part of every Christian's life.  It lists seven foundational qualites that we should strive to develop in our lives. 


As you review the list of seven virtues, identify one single area where you feel God wants you to improve.  Now take that general category and write a specific statement declaring your intentions. Example: "I will always tell the truth." 

  •  Character: Some translations use the word virtue.  Good character can be described as having moral excellence.  It is rooted in the concept of a tool that is rightfully being used for it's intended purpose.  In other words, we are virtuous when we live in a way that God intended for us.  Dan Cormie wrote, "Your ideal is what you wish you were.  Your reputation is what others say you are.  Your character is what you really are."  My good friend, Esnel Principal says, "Let your character speak for itself."
  • Spiritual Understanding: This is practical knowledge that helps us discern God's will. (John 7:17).  Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..." 
  • Discipline: Self control and temperance keep us from being consumed and destroyed by the pleasures of life. 
  • Patience: This is not something that develops automatically; we must work at it. How ironic! You could also use the word steadiness or steadfastness. 
  • Godliness or God-like-ness: In the orginal Greek this describes a man who is in a right relationship with God and his fellow man, and as a result, worships well. One translation uses the term "reverent wonder' (The Message)
  • Warm friendliness: The Greek word used here is philadelphia or brotherly love. Simply said, "If we love God, we must love one another."
  • Love: It is one thing to be warm and friendly towards those we barely know; it is quite another to practices deep, sacrifical, unconditional love.  
Second Step
Become Accountable 


It is important to make yourself accountable. Find a trusted friend with whom you can share. Be very specific in sharing. What is your goal? When are you most vulnerable and likely to fail? Ask this person to remind you of the commitment you have made.

Third Step
Plant Reminders


Don't forget the committment you have made.  At the end of each day ask yourself how you did in executing your plan.  What can you do to improve? You may want to plant other reminders that you can notice throughout the day.  Here are a few suggestions.
1. Wear a wrist band or other piece of jewlery as a reminder.
2. Post a message in a prominate place, i.e. refrigerator, office desk, dash of your car.
3. Keep a daily journal.
4. Incorporate reminders into your daily routine.  For example; review your committment each time you pray for a meal.
6. Memorize a scripture verse and repeat it several times throughout the day.
Fourth Step


The power to overcome can only truly be found through intimacy with God.  The more we fall in love with God, the more we are empowered to become more than conquerers.  It is through prayer that we prevail.
Fifth Step
Celebrate Victory


Some times we are so afraid of failing, we forget to celebrate our successes.  The first time you overcome or accomplish your goal, throw a big celebration.  Rejoice!  Pat yourself on the back!  Tell others about your accomplishment. Don't be too hard on yourself when you fail.  Simply commit yourself to God and move on.


Gabby Douglas Interview - Valley Church
Gabby Douglas Interview - Valley Church
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