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

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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 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. Thankfully, within a year of that humbling injury, God crushed the Dagon/idol of my life (1 Samuel 5:4), by giving me new life in Jesus Christ my Lord (Romans 8:28; Colossians 2:13). 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 go often to Bible-believing evangelical churches -- unless, of course, there’s a conflict with their kids’ practice and game schedule.

Sadly, the sanctified duties of regular attendance at mid-week prayer meeting or the consistent utilization of their spiritual gifts in regularly and faithfully serving the needs of their church fellowship, let alone reaching out to the lost with the gospel -- are not treated as kindly (Despite what the Bible says: Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Peter 4:10; Acts 8:1,4). 

Please do not get me wrong. I still love to play sports and especially love to watch my children play; but now, sports have become our family’s slave (1 Corinthians 7:23), from whom we physically derive benefit (1 Timothy 4:8), after our spiritual priorities are met. Of course, our kids do learn important lessons for life from their participation in Athletics, but it should only be after Jesus has received the FIRST place in our lives and churches (Colossians 1:18)…

“Sports do not build character, they reveal it.” – James Michener

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