I don’t remember for sure what year I studied Greek Mythology; middle school I guess. And I can’t for the life of me conjure up who taught the class, but I distinctly remember them teaching that you could find names and words from mythology used all over the business world. For example, Hermes, who is called Mercury in Roman mythology, is the FTD Florist symbol. The staff of this same god is also used for the medical field.
What is surprising to me, is that I never made the connection with Nike. I happened to stumble across that fact in my recent studies. According to the website Gods-and-Monsters.com –
“Nike was the Greek goddess of victory, both in battle and in sport. The Romans knew her as Victoria, a name that obviously means “victory”, and is still popular today.
Nike was one of four children of the Titan god of war, Pallas, and the Naiad, Styx (not to be confused with the river Styx of Hades Underworld). Her siblings were Kratos, Bia , and Zelus , who represented Strength, Force, and Rivalry, respectively.
Most people recognize the name Nike in association with the globally popular shoe brand. This is not by accident. The founder of Nike Corporation, Phil Knight, chose the name purposely for its association with victory in sport. In fact, everything about the branding of the company comes from the mythology of this goddess.” gods and monsters.com/nike
Romans 12:21 (NIV)
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Here’s how I stumbled across the name Nike in scripture: the word interpreted overcome in this verse comes from the same Greek word as nike, which means to conquer, to carry off the victory!
Consider this verse in this manner: Good teams play to win. They train, they practice, they prepare. They study their opponents to exploit their weaknesses. While developing their own offensive plan, they understand that it is essential to have some knowledge of how their competition plays the game in order to develop an effective defense.
It has been said that Bill Belichick, coach of the New England Patriots, is a strategic genius and that much of the success of his team is due to his ability to outwit his opponents.
To be victorious in the spiritual realm and not be overcome by evil, Christians also need to train, practice, and prepare. We need to study our opponent; not to the point that we become obsessed with his darkness but to have a general knowledge of his strategy. This good that Paul mentions, originates from God but it becomes intrinsically part of every believer as they mature in faith, empowering them in their fight against evil. It is like a gifted athlete who studies and plays the game so often that his skills become second nature.
To enter into a major competition without being fully prepared would be foolish. How could you possibly expect to win if you’re not mentally, spiritually, and physically prepared?
Mugs raised high! Here’s to a victorious day!