“Are you putting Christ FIRST in our Sports-Crazed Culture?”


I love sports. I grew up in a home where sports were a passion. It did not matter which sport season it was, you could always find the men of our house glued to the TV set watching some sporting event. 

Literally, almost any hour on the weekend, and most evening hours during the week, we were either playing in or watching some sports competition. My brothers and I played all kinds of sports; especially, Baseball, Basketball, and Football. We earned more trophies than our trophy case could hold (and that’s saying something, because those were the days when you did not earn a trophy for just playing on a team)! No sacrifice was too much for our parents. They spent time and money that they really did not have on our numerous sports’ registrations, vast equipment needs, or upon doing whatever else that was necessary for both transporting us and them to one of our many scheduled-practices or games. Yes, our mom and dad sacrificed their busy lives for us each day -- even in faithfully practicing with us. We were one big sports machine -- But we did not know God! In fact, it wasn’t until God broke my neck in the fourth quarter of a college football game, that I began to wake up and start asking the ultimate questions of life Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? And Does life have meaning? Thankfully, within a year of that humbling injury, God crushed the idol of football out of my life (1 Samuel 5:4), by giving me new life in Jesus Christ my Lord (Romans 8:28; Colossians 2:13). But sadly, I see many Christians today living their lives not much different than my sports idol-worshiping home did when I was not a Christian. The only slight difference between their homes and my unsaved one, was that they attend Bible-believing evangelical churches, unless, of course, there’s a conflict with their kids’ practice or game schedule. And, with what result? The sanctified duties of regular Lord’s Day worship attendance, or of the mid-week prayer meeting fritter away. Indeed, even the consistent utilization of their spiritual gift(s) for serving the needs of their church fellowship, and for reaching out to the lost, are not treated so kind as well (Despite what the Bible so clearly says: Hebrews 10:24-25;  1 Peter 4:10; Acts 8:1,4).  Now, please do not get me wrong. I still love to play and watch sports, especially now, watching my grown children play here and there, and soon will watch my grandchildren; but, only after we make them our family’s slave (1 Corinthians 7:23). And yes, we continue to derive physical benefit from playing sports (1 Timothy 4:8), but always and only after our spiritual priorities are met. Of course, our kids did learn important lessons for life from their participation in the sports they played, but it was, once again, always and only after Jesus had received the first place both in our lives and churches (Colossians 1:18). Therefore, let us never forget, “Sports do not build character, they reveal it.” – James Michener   

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