Jon Moton – Ahwatukee Campus Pastor
Okay admit it. You thought it. You have watched an athlete celebrate by pointing up to the sky. You have heard them thank “the man upstairs” for a win. You have wondered and said to yourself, “Does God really care that much about sports? Aren’t there bigger things in the world for Him to worry about?” Maybe you have even questioned the meaning behind going crazy when a goal is scored, a home run is hit, a three pointer is sunk, or a touchdown is scored. People lose their minds! Isn’t this just a form of idolatry? Where is God in all of this? This can’t be healthy. Should a Christian be that excited about sports?
What if I told you there is a legitimate place for sports in the Christian life?
People play sports and watch sports for a variety of reasons. Some for the love of the game, others for the thrill of competition, and some because of the camaraderie. I believe that sports allows us to express our relationship to God and to others. I believe sports provides opportunities to express resiliency, grit, unity, and accomplishment in the face of adversity. Here are more reasons I believe sports have a place in the Christian life
- Sports can engage us. Sports not only engage us physically, but mind and spirit as well. Sports affect us mentally and spiritually. Our experiences in sports can motivate us and challenge us. We experience joy and we experience disappointment.
- Sports can form us spiritually. Sports can remind us that God is the source of strength, speed, and beauty of movement. Think about the times that you were blown away by a great catch, an incredible hit or an incredible play. The experience of sports can be great is a reminder of how God has created us.
- Sports can glorify God. To glorify God is to reflect the will and way of Christ in everything. In sports it is an opportunity to respond in manner that would bring glory to God. It is an opportunity to display the fruits of the Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Now this does not mean that sports should become an obsession. Sports should not eclipse kingdom work, the church, nor our family. Sports have their place. Sports are an opportunity to show and share behaviors, principles, and truths.
So the next time you cheer, the next time you shout, the next time you are on the edge of your seat, or anticipating a crucial play, take a moment to realize the bigger picture. See an opportunity to learn or share who God is in your life.