Sports make the perfect story. There are winners and losers. Good guys and bad guys. A sport unites people into a community by creating an emotional connection with the audience. In a single game or event, there is suspense, drama, and an unscripted ending.
Yet sports can also become a form of worship and what we live for, whether a player or a fan. Your sport can become your identity. When it does, it is the ultimate determination of your happiness and your joy, your sadness and your success.
I have been listening to a song on repeat lately: It’s Jimmy Needham’s “Clear the Stage.” My favorite line says this:
Anything I put before my God is an idol.
Anything I give all my love is an idol.
What exactly is an idol? Many of us who are familiar with the Old Testament simply refer to idols as other gods that were worshiped at the time. These gods usually were crafted in the form of a statue, and people would literally worship the statue. It was easier for them to worship a statue then an unseen God, because at least they could see the statue.
Exodus 20:3-4 says, “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.”
Idols come now in various forms. Money, people, relationships, food, school, work, knowledge, recognition, sports… Whatever is the most easy for us to worship besides the Creator of the universe.
1 Corinthians 8:4, 6 says, “We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one… and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, thorough whom all things came and through whom we live.”
What is an idol in comparison with our Heavenly Father? Which do we choose to worship daily?
In the same song, Needham sings: Worship is more than a song. He implies that worship is what we live for. It’s where we devote our time, our treasure, and our talent.
Let’s worship what is worth it, to the One who deserves it.
See also Isaiah 44:6-23