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Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional - Tuesday, April 16, 2019

“Yet You desired faithfulness even in the womb; You taught me wisdom in that secret place.” — Psalm 51:6

Sports as Escape or Gift?

I’ve been a sports fan for many years. Sports have played a huge role in my life, and I’ve learned many powerful personal lessons because of them. But there was a time in my life where sports were more of an escape for me than a simple life-pleasure to be enjoyed. Sports were a way for me to forget all the pain I was going through. This approach proved to be emotionally unhealthy because sports became a way for me not to deal with the deep issues I had inside my soul.

Sports are just one of the many pleasures God has given us to enjoy on this earth. Sports are also a vehicle through which we can share the Gospel by how we handle ourselves and live our lives. But as with so many other things, they can become an idol. An escape. A way to not face the reality about ourselves — that we are human beings who are naturally sinful and who need a Savior to save us.

David in Psalm 51:6 says, “You taught me wisdom in that secret place.” God has given us so many things to enjoy on this earth, but He doesn’t want those things to become what cause us to escape this place of honesty He desires from us. God wants to know us deeply — He does already know us deeply — and He wants us to know Him deeply. But our abuse of His gifts and our desires for the world’s pleasures often keep us from getting real with ourselves like God wants us to.

If you generally strike a good balance between your love of sports and your walk with Jesus, take this as an encouragement to keep making sure you don’t let even a good thing like enjoying athletic competition distract you from putting in the time it takes to check your spirit and keep working at your Christian walk.

On the other hand, perhaps sports have instead become a way for you to escape the reality about your situation or standing before God. He wants so much more from you, but it may require some brutal honesty on your part first. Take it from somebody whose been there: If you’re willing to quit looking for an escape and are humble enough to admit your inability to handle things on your own, God will begin to change your life. And you’ll actually find that you’ll gain more pleasure out of the blessings in your life, including the sport(s) you watch, coach or play. 

— Katherine Singer

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