5 Stars Out Of 5
Excellent blueprint for making sports count
January 25, 2011
We're in the midst of an exciting time in the world of sports. Coming off a weekend where the NFL conference championship games delivered unprecedented television ratings for the yearly battles for the Super Bowl, we are all aware that sports drive incredible human interest and financial gain. In fact, a solid case could be made for the argument that sports drive much of what we do in America, from how we spend our time and energy, to how we spend our money.
That said, have you ever stopped to consider the purpose for which God intended sports? Have you thought about how sports influence your walk with God, and how your "walk with sports" influences others' views of God. C. J. Mahaney has, and he's written an excellent booklet that should be required reading for all of us.
In Don't Waste Your Sports, Mahaney reminds us that "sports are a gift from God. But as soon as you introduce the human heart, things get complicated." Most of us have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly where sports are concerned. But, perhaps, things would be different if our approach to sports was one of worship and an opportunity to glorify God. In 1 Corinthians 10:31 we are called to do just that:
So, whatever you eat or drink, whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Mahaney's sports application of this verse is "to bring glory to God as athletes, we play sports in a way that draws attention to God's greatness instead of our own."
We see a lot of athletes give glory to God, before and after good or bad performances. However, in most cases, athletes use the sports stage to seek glory and praise for themselves. We've all done it at one time or another. But as Mahaney notes, there's a depth of obedience to which we are all called relative to using our abilities and endeavors in sports for God's glory. Yes, even sports exist to point to the glory of God.
The booklet is a quick read, packed with useful analogies, references, and tips, all in less than 60 pages, for less than five bucks. Not only is it a must-read for athletes at all levels, it is an especially good tool for coaches and parents of young athletes. Mahaney adds a special "Word to Parents" chapter, along with application questions for athletes and parents.
This is a very worthy read. Pick it up and let me know what you think!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Crossway Books as part of their Reviewer Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.