Professional golfer Jordan Spieth impresses fans both on and off the green.
The 24-year-old has been compared to Tiger Woods for his athletic ability on the golf course. However, the comparisons stop there. Spieth lives a life of faith and is dedicated to his Christian principles. His behavior is his testimony.
Born in Dallas, Texas, Spieth became focused on golf at age 12. He graduated from the elite Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas, whose motto is “Men for Others.” He went on to play golf at the University of Texas.
Spieth grew up with a younger brother, Steven, and a younger sister, Ellie, who has special needs. And he credits Ellie for keeping life in perspective.
“I love spending time with her. It’s humbling to see the struggles she goes through each day [over things] that we take for granted. Because of Ellie, it has always been a priority to me to be in tune to the needs of others,” Spieth said on jordanspiethgolf.com.
“With Ellie and how we grew up with her and her struggles and her triumphs, I think it just puts life a little more in perspective than maybe it would have had we not experienced it,” Spieth told The Augusta Chronicle. “My parents are such great parents I don’t think it would have changed much, but we were able to see firsthand what someone who struggles like that is like, and it certainly took over our family. So maybe that’s what helps keep me ‘normal.’ I don’t know what the alternative is when everyone says ‘maturity and grounded.'”
Despite his 2015 Masters win and, most recently, his 2017 Open Championship win — Spieth indeed remains grounded. The Jordan Spieth Family Foundation focuses on special needs youth, junior golf, and military support. The foundation allows the golfer to give time and financial support to projects that will have long-term impact.
At a post-tournament press conference following his British Open victory, Spieth talked about his priorities. “My faith and then my family, and then after that, you know, this is what I love to do … I’ll have a family of my own some day and that will be — golf will be fourth. So as of now, you know, my relationships I have with my best friends and my family and my girlfriend are second and golf’s third.” Spieth has dated Annie Verret since they were both seniors in high school.
It’s worth noting that Spieth primarily displays his faith through his actions rather than talk. He reportedly attends the PGA Tour Bible study meetings. He mentions his faith as a priority, but doesn’t flaunt the name of Christ.
He remains focused on producing the good fruit that Jesus talks about in Matthew 7:15-20: “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.”
A person’s connection with Christ is revealed through both his public and private behavior. Jordan Spieth’s respect and courtesy toward others, his acknowledgement of his faith, and his generosity toward others are all examples of his spiritual fruit.
Katie Nations, married for 15 years, is a working mother of three young children. She lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.