Sports have become a huge part of this world. Sports figures, professional teams, and the school teams that many of us play on, are often times part of our daily routine. While sports in themselves are not wrong, we quickly get caught up in the flow, and they then can become too much a part of our lives. They can become too much a part of our lives as Christians living for God. This brings up the question, how much of our time do we spend involved in sports compared to the time we spend on Christian activities? We make it a priority to show up at that practice after school and to be prepared and ready for it, but how much time do we spend on our catechism lessons? Could we recite our memory work better? What about our private devotions, preparing for Young People’s, or helping out with an activity at church? 1 Timothy 4:8 says: “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”
As was stated before, sports are not “bad” or “wicked”. They are a lot of fun to play and/or watch and you can have great fellowship with your friends and classmates while doing so. It is also a blessing for us to have fit and able bodies so that we have the ability to participate in sports activities. God has given us this blessing, and we should use it to his honour and not abuse it. It is so easy for us to use our talents for reasons other than glorifying God. We can use them to gain popularity with our peers, to make us appear better than others, or to boost our own self-esteem. Our number one goal in life should be to glorify God through all things, and not to be in the starting line for the basketball team, or the top scorer on the soccer team. We must also realize that sports are only an activity and/or a pleasure in our lives. As Christians we may never have a career in professional sports because this violates the Sabbath and affects our family time.
Just taking a little time out of your day to help the neighbor lady rake up her leaves, help a sibling with homework, or stopping by the house of an elderly couple to say “hi” can be very rewarding. You should take time before you go to bed to do some devotions, study your catechism, or go over that young people’s outline. The time we put aside for these things, if we do, is so little compared to the time we devote to our practices and games. God is our great and awesome Father, yet we often use the talents he has given us for our own pleasure, and don’t devote our time to him as we should.
We can also mention the time spent away from the home. Family meals and devotions can be sacrificed because of a practice or a big game. Family devotions and family time are important because the family is able to discuss things and grow together spiritually. Scripture teaches “The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel” (Psalm 128:5, 6).
Next time you find yourself caught up in your sports schedule for the week, make it a point to make devotions a priority on that list. Make time for memorizing your catechism and going over the outline for young people’s. You might play basketball for a season or two but God will be your refuge and salvation from everlasting to everlasting. “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Col. 3:23, 24).