Reclaiming Competition


Key Bible Verse: You know that many runners enter a race, and only one of them wins the prize. So run to win! (1 Corinthians 9:24, CEV)

Dig Deeper: 

Like all other areas of our lives, our understanding of competition and management of competitive desire is adversely affected by the fact that we are winners. Some fuel their competitive desire by hating their opponents and desiring to harm them. Others come to sports with a self-referential, “winning-is-the-only-thing” mentality. These corruptions of the creational design of competition are no reason for Christians to withdraw from sporting competition; rather, they present an opportunity to reclaim competition for the glory of Christ and his kingdom. Sporting competition can provide a limited but genuine opportunity to honour God and love one’s neighbour.

There is joy in pushing one’s body to the limit in pursuit of an agreed-upon goal. There is communal delight in performing as part of a team in pursuit of victory or in celebrating a favourite team’s victory.

There is a proper sense of awe that comes from seeing one of God’s image bearers discipline and utilize his or her physical gifts in exceptional ways. For many of us, sports touch something deep within us and provide us a measure of pleasure, delight, awe, and wonder. We should not be ashamed of the joy we find in sports. Rather, we should say, “To God be the glory!”

– David E. Prince in In the Arena

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