He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:3a

Monday, February 13, 2017

Faith Is Not A Spectator Sport

Because football season is over and racing hasn’t yet begun, for those who prefer these sports find this an “off weekend,” so we wait for the next "sports weekend!"  Others are deeply involved in basketball or depending on where you live, some other kind of outdoor, winter sport, like skiing, skating or another extreme competitive sport.

Sports are a big deal in our lives.  There are all kinds for the various, different seasons. Many sports “seasons” will overlap another, and when a person (or family with several children) are involved in more than one sport, it can be a very busy time!  Yet, there are the families who may not be actively involved in any sports, but are merely ardent spectators. 

I remember a time in our own family when my husband would have the television on, watching several football or baseball games by constantly changing channels (depending on the time of year), while listening to the radio to a NASCAR race!  When the race was on TV, then he’d would listen to the radio to a baseball game he wanted to hear, but not televised. 

            I admit, I am more of a spectator than a participant when it comes to sports, and have never really been competitive.   I have only one recollection of playing a competitive game, way back in elementary school.  It was actually during a gym class where we were playing football. The ball was thrown and I was in the right spot to catch it.  It was an awesome catch and all I could hear was, “run, run!”  I did….. but…. I ran the wrong direction!  I was horribly humiliated and embarrassed!  From then on, sports just didn’t appeal to me! I became a spectator of sports, rather than a participant!

            The sad thing is however, we often treat our faith as a “spectator sport,” as well! We attend church, perhaps even a Sunday School class.  We attend the business meetings and social events, but never really participate beyond that.  We rarely open God’s Word during the week and there is never time for prayer, because we are so busy working, taking care of life, and being active as a participant (or spectator) in our favorite sport!

            The world has convinced us our value is based on what we can accomplish on “the field” against a physical team.  It’s all about the trophies and money we can make.  Granted most who read my words are not being paid for playing sports, but it still holds great value to be the team with the most wins for the season!  It offers “bragging rights” if nothing else.

            Many of our young ones become involved in competitive sports while they are still in grade school.  I’m not suggesting they shouldn’t compete. It is great exercise and a confidence builder.  But there are times when the competition goes beyond what the child wants.  It often becomes a competition between the adults; to the point of anger and hostility on the field between parents, when the game doesn’t go the way they like!

            How much more important is our participation in our faith?  The competition we face against our fellow man is just that; a competition that lasts for a moment.  The competition we face between our faith and Satan and his demons is a struggle for our eternal resting place.  When we “cave” and give in to just being a “spectator in our faith” we are strengthening the opposition in Satan.  We weaken our ability to stand strong against the world’s evils. 

            I challenge you to reflect on whether you are a participant or a spectator in your faith!  Which are you?  Do changes need to occur?