How does a Christian recover from Super Bowl blues?
By S. Michael Houdmann, Got Questions Ministries
Those who know me well know that I despise the New England Patriots. I am not entirely sure when my intense dislike of the Patriots started. I usually root for dynasties, as I enjoy witnessing things that will likely never happen again in my lifetime. But, not the Patriots. The Patriots have been caught cheating twice (SpyGate and DeflateGate). If they have been caught twice, who knows how many other times they have cheated and not been caught?
To make matters worse, they shouldn't even need to cheat. They have likely the greatest quarterback of all time. They have possibly the greatest coach of all time. The fact that the Patriots would stack the deck when they are already the superior team really bothers me. Having watched all 7 of their recent Super Bowl appearances, the Patriots are two plays away from winning all 7 of them. And, they are also a few plays away from being 1-6 in those games.
Why can't any of the other 31 teams in the NFL figure out how to beat those guys!?!?
Ok, enough of my anti-Patriots rant...
After last night's game, I was seriously in a bad mood. I think the fact that I was allowing a football game to get me in a bad mood was making my bad mood even worse. I knew my attitude was wrong (sinful), but I just couldn't shake it. I wished I was like some of my friends who truly could not care less about sports. I wondered if I needed to give up watching sports due to my inability to keep things in a proper perspective. After all, there are much more important things I could be doing with my time (you know, things that actually have a spiritual and eternal significance).
Thankfully, this morning, I am pretty much over my little pity party. But the question remains. What should be a Christian's attitude towards sports? And, how can I learn to enjoy participating in and watching sports without it giving me a bad attitude?
First Corinthians 10:31 says, "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." I truly believe one can participate in sports to the glory of God. Watching sports to the glory of God — that is more difficult, but yes, I do believe it can be done to the glory of God. I have seen and experienced truly edifying and encouraging discipleship occurring among people watching a sporting event, both in person and on TV.
But, what about my attitude/mindset? How can I prevent what is ultimately a silly game from impacting me in a negative way? Colossians 3:1-2 says, "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." When my attitude was wrong, I was definitely dwelling on earthly things. My mind was not on things above (except for perhaps my musing about why God allows the wicked to prosper — just kidding).
What I need to do is keep things in perspective. I need to stop investing so much emotional energy into teams I like or dislike. If I find myself unable to do this, I need to give up watching sports.
First Corinthians 10:23 says, "'I have the right to do anything,' you say — but not everything is beneficial. 'I have the right to do anything' — but not everything is constructive." Even if something is allowable and morally/ethically neutral, if it is actually hindering my spiritual growth, I should not be doing it.
So, thank you New England Patriots for the wake-up call. This is an issue in my life that I need to deal with. I hope I am able to overcome my tendencies and gain a godly perspective. If I am unable to accomplish that, I hope I have the strength and integrity to give up watching sports (or at least certain sports) altogether.
P.S. According to ESPN, the Patriots are the heavy favorites to win the Super Bowl again next season. So, it looks like I have a year to get my head straight. Hopefully it won't take that long.
Image Credit: Marc Choquette; "Gillette Stadium — South End Zone"; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Christian-Life | Current-Issues | Hardships | Personal-Life
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