Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional: Thursday, August 15, 2019

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.” — 2 Peter 1:5-7

Where’s the Love?

I was part of a church basketball team that was in a league with other churches in the area. All of these churches preach the whole Bible, feed homeless people and send missionaries to foreign lands. They are dynamic and active churches that you wouldn’t hesitate to be a part of.

That is, except on Monday nights at league basketball games. I’ve never seen more bickering, complaining and fighting in my life — and not just from the players. Fans from each church yell at the referee if he makes a bad call. You would never know that this was a group of Christians by the display of nasty attitudes. Each week, there would be name-calling and sometimes pushing, shoving and near punches. Something had to change.

Over the summer, one of our team members heard about an opportunity to play in a basketball league at a local state prison. The night of our first game arrived, and we were taken by armed guards to the gym. To say we were nervous would be an understatement. But we realized something as the weeks went by. These convicted felons were actually nicer to us and to the referees than the folks in our church league.

It was a shock to all of us when the realization came. It makes you wonder, doesn’t it? After all, where’s the love?

As believers, we can’t afford to let a silly game like basketball distract us from our primary mission of being Christ-like and glorifying God. If we can’t play ball and still live for Jesus, we need to hang up our Air Jordans.

Dan Deal

If you would like to submit a reader devotional, please email all submissions to

Click here for all Sports Spectrum Daily Devotionals

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more devotionals and stories where sports and faith connect <<