In last months blog, I disgusted how we as a nation have become so sports crazed. We have elevated sports to areas in our life that they should not be. How as believers, are we to deal with sports and their impact on our life? Let me give you five steps to help keep sports in its proper balance
First, realize there is a balance. God is a God of order. You can see it in all of his creations and throughout scripture. If God is a God of order then obviously there is a balance in order when it comes to sports and are live. We have to be honest with ourselves low. We must take a good hard look at sports and the part it plays in our life. Once we do this, then we can set our boundaries and limits. As adults, how much will we be involved in sports? As coaches, how much time and emphasis will we put in it? As parents, how much time will we allow for our children to play sports? Will we allow them to play travel sports and if so how much money we we put into it? Once we set her boundaries and limits it will be a lot easier to find balance.
Second, stay involved. It is not realistic nor biblical for us to say we will not be involved in sports simply because sports can be abused. As believers we have given up so much of our influence in areas such as government and colleges and universities. This is hurting our ability to witness and to live out our Christian faith. We cannot give up our participation and influence in sports because sports is shaping our culture. Ask yourself this question “Would you rather have a nonbeliever coaching your children?”. We should seek to use sports as an influence for Christ.
Third, we must learn to lead the hearts. The Bible says in Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” If the heart can be led, it can be led astray. We must lead young people to the hope that is found in Christ Jesus. We have influence in sports and we must use it for Christ.
Fourth, compete to win. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 9:10 “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” It is wrong to tell kids winning and losing doesn’t matter. It does matter. If it did not matter, they wouldn’t keep score. Jesus Christ was not a loser. He won at the greatest game of all, life. Aren’t you glad he didn’t go just halfway up Calvary? He went all the way. Whatever we do we should strive to be the best.
Finally, be the compass not the clock. The clock is the immediate and the momentary. The compass is the long term and the eternal. We must teach our children to live for more than just the moment. There is an eternity ahead. An eternity in which we will give an account for all that we have done. Yes, this even means sports. No we will not give an account for whether we won or lost, but for whether we used what God gave us to the fullest. Whether we brought honor and glory to Him.
On March 16, 2018, the University of Maryland Baltimore County pulled off one of the greatest upsets in college basketball history when it defeated the number one seed Virginia Cavaliers in the NCAA Tournament. It was the first time ever a number 16 seed beat a number one seed. The Virginia Cavaliers are coached by Tony Bennett, a devout Christian. Several weeks later as he was accepting the coach of the year award, he was asked about this shocking defeat. His answer, I believe, sums up for Christians how we should look at sports. I leave you with his words.
“You better have something beyond the opinion of man or just how you feel, because this stuff is fleeting. So that's where obviously my faith is everything to me. You hear people talk about their faith in the Lord and the relationship with the people that they care about, their family and their trusted friends. Those things stand the test of time. And that's what you have to draw from. And then you move on.“ Tony Bennett