Olympian Sydney McLaughlin on Criticism: “They’re Not Rejecting Me,” But “Jesus Living In Me”


It’s extraordinary what we can accomplish when we put our trust and our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and surrender our early aspirations to His infallible will.
However, as many believers of Christ will already know, when we praise His name for all we accomplish, those who hate His name always come out of the woodwork.
World-record-breaking Olympians are no different.

Gold medalist Sydney McLauglin made history on more than one count when she competed in Tokyo at the Summer Games this year, yet it was her profound and shamelessly stated faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that really caught our attention.

The track star and born-again Christian set a world record as she was qualifying for the games and was prompt to give all the glory to the Lord, to whom she gave her life last year.

“As long as I put the hard work in, He’s going to carry me through. And I really cannot do anything more but give the glory to Him at this point,” she said at the time.

She continued her trend of praise at the Olympics, praising Him for her impressive medal-winning performances.

Now, in a video that was filmed before she set off for Tokyo yet posted last week, McLaughlin has shared that her fame and accolades have presented a substantial test to her faith as critics reject the Lord she insists on praising.

“Not even three days ago, I literally achieved one of my life’s dreams of breaking the world record, and I’m going to be honest, a lot of the people around me did not respond how I thought they would,” she said at the time. “Man, in a moment like that, where these are moments you remember for a lifetime, these are opportunities that you don’t get every single day. I felt like the people I thought would be excited for me literally almost didn’t even care.”

The athlete explained that while it “hurts” not knowing “when it’s going to be enough for a lot of people,” that she’s “worked really hard, and been very cautious of how I carry myself, of the things that I post because I want to glorify God and I want to be a good example to people, but our world only accepts ignorance.”

McLaughlin went on to explain that she understands when the critics speak out, it’s not really against her, but the Lord.

“People reject truth,” she said. “I know they’re not rejecting me. They’re rejecting Jesus living in me. That’s fine, but I’m just being honest, like, sometimes my flesh has a problem with that.”

“I’m so grateful that I have a relationship with God the way that I do, because, without it, I think I would honestly be going crazy right now,” the hurdler explained. “There’s so many things I don’t understand about the world, about our sport, about our culture. It makes no sense a lot of the time.”

This is such a good reminder in a very divided time in our nation, when insults, criticism, and slander is hurled around from and towards all sides.

Stay firm in the Lord and your commitment to following Him, and nothing that anyone throws at you can possibly stick.

Praise God for public figures like McLaughlin who so boldly and shamelessly praise and confess Him before all men!

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