Do you recognise this feeling: that sport is in your DNA and it’s part of who you are? If you wake up on game-day and you’re buzzing because it’s the highlight of your week, then you are born to play! In Genesis, we see God created everything on this earth and when he looked at all his creation, including sport, he said, ‘it was good’.
Sport and the way we play it can show us a lot about the world we live in. We see our brokenness as we play. Can you see this in your own life? Can you see the times when sport replaces God for you as the thing you worship?
In Genesis 3 we see sin for the first time. Ironically the Greek work for sin (Hamartia) is a sporting metaphor. It means to shoot and miss the mark, to fall short of the target. As sportspeople, we understand the concept of shooting wide, and as Christians we can understand the concept of falling short of God’s standards, and the consequences that then come about.
Sin spoils everything - including sport and how we play it. The good news though is with the death of Jesus Christ, sin is defeated. 1 Peter 3:18 says, ‘For Christ died for sin once and for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.’ What good news this is! When we allow God to take control of our lives, all the flawed things - including playing sport - start to get mended.
Romans 12:1-2 exhorts the Romans to live in view of God’s mercy. Implied is the fact that Christian ethics are the Christian’s grateful obedience in response to what God has done for them in Christ. Paul is saying that God in Christ has saved us and restored His image within us. We now have the power of God to begin to restore the use of our sporting talents for his pleasure alone and our relationships for the sake of our sporting friends. Paul talks about offering our bodies as a ‘living sacrifice’. This is when we worship God - when we give every piece of our minds, bodies, time, everything to God - that’s worship!
When we play our sport we can play in the way God designed it to be and we can look to be people who live and play in a way which shows people Jesus. If you are born to play - go out there and play! And go out and make sport your mission - represent him as you play your sport.
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A weekly devotional for sports people