The Super Bowl is this Sunday and it will be especially clear today that Christianity & football are two powerful religions vying for worshipers every Sunday. Can the two co-exist together? The answer to the question is what is inside your heart. See sports in itself, is morally neutral. Its nature is neither good nor bad. What makes sports good or bad is how we respond to it.
The problem with sports is that for many, especially this Sunday, will worship it. Sports make a terrible god. Your skills quickly deteriorate, not only as you get older, but professionals have to work on their skills daily in order to make sure that they do not lose their edge. Sports are a god that demands more and more from you each day or only promises that you will eventually get worse.
Sports also make a terrible god because it is impossible to stay on top. More than likely your favorite team will lose this year. Sports promise failure, so if your joy is wrapped up in the outcome of your favorite team, then you are guaranteed some very low days, if not years.
So what do we do with sports then? Do we separate ourselves from them? I would argue No, because although sports make a terrible god, it makes an excellent disciple-making tool, to help us grow more like the one and only true God, Jesus Christ.
The Bible does not leave us in the dark on the subject. Paul compares the missionary task to the work of a wrestler, a runner and a boxer–reminding his readers that disciple-making is not a passive effort. We are to train for godliness much like how athletes train to win the prize. I would argue that we should be training even harder because gold medals, trophies, and rings fade away, but our reward in heaven is eternal.
In conclusion, sports can be bad if it turns into an idol, but it can be a great training tool to help us glorify God in our lives. The goal of using sports to prepare our children for the spiritual disciplines is not to produce pro athletes, but to produce young timothy’s.