Sport Is Not Your God
"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. Do not have other gods besides Me." — Exodus 20:1–3
It’s interesting how we can take just about anything in life and use it for good or evil. James 3 illustrates how fire can be good or evil. It only takes a small spark to set a forest on fire and yet what is more soothing on a cold winter night than sitting before a crackling fire that radiates a comforting heat? Is fire good or evil?
I have been blessed to coach high school athletes for eighteen years and have dabbled in sports journalism periodically for over thirty years. What I have seen is that sometimes we become so blinded by our involvement in sports that it becomes a “god” in our life. The Lord has clearly instructed us in the very first commandment to refrain from establishing “gods” in our lives that threaten His supremacy. Yet many of us succumb to replacing the Lord with sports. Are sports good or evil?
For me, one of the rewards of FCA is that it incorporates sports into our relationship with Jesus rather than replaces it. Jesus is our Coach, and the Bible is our playbook! Daily workouts such as Bible reading, prayer, and fellowship continually build us up and prepare us for the ultimate game—life itself!
We must take an inventory of the role sports plays in our lives and acknowledge that sports has as much potential to do “evil” in our lives as it does “good.”
1. When have I allowed sports to become a “god” in my life?
2. How can I encourage my players to become involved in sports but prevent sports from becoming their “god”?
Extra Reading: Matthew 22:37–39; James 3:5
Father, I thank You for the opportunities to live life to the fullest through the world of sports. I ask that You open my eyes to when sports becomes a god. I want You to be first in my life. Amen.