Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm a pretty big sports fan.  That being said, as I've mentioned elsewhere, I get a little uncomfortable when outspoken Christian athletes seemingly turn God's word into nothing but decontextualized, triumphalistic platitudes about God's goodness in times of victory.

That's why I was recently heartened to find a new blog produced by Kurt Earl named Compete4Christ. Kurt is one of the football coaches at Lincoln Christian School in Lincoln, Nebraska, and in his words, "Compete4Christ exists to offer athletes, coaches and fans the opportunity to read verse by verse exegetical teaching of the Bible from an athletic perspective. My prayer is that this blog, guided by the power of the Holy Spirit, will help to equip the Elect in redeeming sporting events for God's glory."

We need to realize that if God is truly God, then all of life (including our competition on the athletic field) is subject to his sovereignty. Furthermore, if God is present and active in our victories, then he must be every bit as much so in our defeats. If we only see God's hand at work in our victories, then every time we fail it will call into question God's faithfulness.  But as Kurt pointed out in a recent entry, God is perhaps even more active in our failures.
When you Compete4Christ you begin to see failure as an opportunity for growth rather than a reason to be embarrassed or feel shame. Is God surprised or disappointed when we give our best effort and fall short? In fact, what we often declare failure God probably sees as opportunity.
'More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.' –Romans 5:3-5 
God sees failure as an opportunity for growth, for becoming more like His Son. Remember, our goal in participating in sports is to become more like Jesus Christ, to conform to his image. No amount of failure can deter us from that goal. In fact, as we have seen, failure gives us a chance to obtain the goal. Is that liberating or what?!

No comments: