A guest post I wrote for the Desiring God blog:
Last week I had the chance to sit down with some of the team at Desiring God to talk abouthow Christians should interact with sports. During the conversation we briefly touched on how easily sports can become an idol, whether it’s as an athlete or fan or a parent of an athlete. Overall, though, we explored how Christians can be involved in sports and the goodness of sports in culture as an expression of God’s creativity and the gifts he’s given people.
One Facebook commenter responded to the podcast with a perspective that many people share — sports seems “like a whole other religion.” He went on to describe the amount of excitement and money people pour into sports and how that ought to be poured into “the true battle we live in,” such as healing the sick, feeding the poor, and saving souls. He makes the point that sports clearly aren’t as important as these things.
This perspective is quite common and deserves a thoughtful response. At first blush it has merit, but it is not entirely accurate. Let me take his objections one by one.
“Sports is its own religion”
. . .
“People should devote their excitement and energy to things of eternal value”
. . .
“The money and time devoted to sports are better spent elsewhere, serving those in need”
. . .