“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31
It’s game point. You’re the point guard. You patiently wait for your big man to set a screen, watch as your defender goes under the pick, and rise to shoot a deep jumper. If you are a Christian, what is the ultimate reason for this jump shot? Why do you spend so much time in the gym getting in shape and getting shots up? You may play sports to compete, to win, or maybe just because you are blessed with athleticism and skill. But if you are a Christian, 1 Corinthians 10:31 establishes that you should ultimately play sports for the same reason you should eat, drink, or do anything else: for God’s glory. The competitive nature of a sporting event should not be seen as a reprieve from our call to love, but should rather be seen as an amazing opportunity to be a light. If you love sports like I do, and if you are going to devote much of your life to playing them, make your time matter eternally. Play sports intentionally for the Kingdom of God.
So how do you play a basketball game to the glory of God? What would that even look like? Perhaps asking that question and pondering it in prayer and in the Word is as good of a start as any. I think what you will discover is that opportunities abound.
When the jumper leaves your hand as the defender fights through the pick, give it to God. If it goes in, thank the big man who set the pick, tell the other team it was a good game, and maybe even ask your opponents how their life is going. If the shot rims out and you lose, go out of your way to tell your teammates how much you appreciate them. Make sure the least talented player feels supported and encouraged. See each shot, each practice, and each game as an opportunity to glorify God, through His strength. You can still compete and try to win. But if you play for God’s glory, you will always win in ways that are far more important and lasting than what is on the scoreboard.
(Photo Credit: SLG)