Monday, October 8, 2012

The Problem with Sport as Religion

A friend recently posted a rant on Facebook about not being able to purchase beer before noon on a Sunday, to go with his football plans. Several comments were made on the post and one said, "Football itself is a religion in this part of the country [the south]. What happened to freedom of religion?" This got me thinking....

Who or what do you worship? I have heard it said that sporting events are simply stadiums full of worshipers. Is this you? Do you worship sport? Maybe you are a spectator or maybe you're a player, or perhaps you're a parent or coach. Do you worship sport... the game, a team, the players, the trophy, or the "W"?

God warns us against worshipping anything other than Him. To many, that may sound restricting; just another one of Christianity's rules. But, God desires for us to worship Him alone, not just because He is the only One to deserve it or because He enjoys putting rules over us, but because He knows that worshipping anything/anyone else will eventually disappoint us and leave us dissatisfied.

"You shall have no other gods before me." - Exodus 20:3

"Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things." - Romans 1:22-23

"Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry." - 1 Corinthians 10:14

Think about it. EVERYTHING, besides God, will fail us. A player whose top priority is playing time, will always be let down, especially if an injury ever occurs. A coach will likely never have a perfect season, let alone career. A parent (of a player) will see that there is an end to their players playing time. Referees will never call every penalty perfectly. A fan will be disappointed whenever their favorite team doesn't come out on top. In the athletic world, injuries happen, teams lose, coaches disappoint, parents don't show, even the championships fade....

I'd encourage you to take a look at your heart. Is sport, or maybe something different for you (a dating relationship, career/school, possessions, etc.) higher ranked than God? Are you worshipping something that will ultimately fail you or even shatter? Trust, worship, and love God. He will never fail you!

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." - Deuteronomy 6:5

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