Guide to Being a Christian Sports-fan!

Posted: January 18, 2014 in Christian Beliefs, Outreach, Running the Race, The Christian Walk

Hello Folks!

Sorry it’s been a while since my last post, as usual thing have been surprisingly busy, however today’s post couldn’t wait another day. I say this because coming up tomorrow it would be really helpful to understand the ins and outs of being a good Christian sports-fan! (Note that this can and should be applied to all sports including those featuring individual athletes).

Diagram This Out

I LOVE football! I don’t know why you call it football when you use your hands most of the time, but then calling it handball is right out! (For what it’s worth the British term for “American Football” GRIDIRON is totally awesome! Back on point I love teams playing great football, I love the Seahawks playing exceptional football, but I love my 49ers more!

I’ve been a 49er fan since the early 80’s, my first football on the telly was 49ers vs. the Raiders and it wasn’t even close. I loved the 49ers intensity and passion- I loved that they wore the color red- it always reminds me of the blood that poured from my Savior to wash my sins whiter than snow! And I’ve been a fan ever since, through lean years, through the almost there years, and now we’re back at the top of our game it’s an exciting time to be a 49er fan- just as it is right now to be a Seahawks, Patriots or Broncos fan.

Tomorrow I’m going to be enjoying the first church service (at the Packinghouse we’re going through Romans!) and then making my way to an awesome local sports bar (The Upper Deck Sports Lounge at Pharaoh’s Lost Kingdom in Redlands CA.) for both games. (What you’re about to read also applies to those watching the games at home also). There will be passionate fans there for all the teams, and there is nothing wrong with being passionate in the support of your team but you need to keep a few things in mind- some Biblical things.

Basic Rules

It’s alright to pray for your team. I can tell you right now God has received a LOT of calls regarding all four of the teams playing tomorrow. This should not come as a surprise as there are many Christians who are fans of each of the teams that will be playing tomorrow. Not to mention that one each team there are also Christian athletes who give there all week in and week out, while at the same time praying for their team and being a witness to those around them. Christian athletes ALWAYS need our prayers.

It’s alright to pray for the officials. These guys have a difficult and stressful job and no matter how well they do it it’s pretty rare to seem them come out unscathed from either side after a game. (Being that these are the AFC/NFC Championship games they’ll be eve harder to officiate especially the 49ers/Seahawks game). It’s important to remember that these officials are not superhuman, they’re not God though once again some of them may be Christians and know God. They are probably praying for fortitude during the onslaught they will be facing tomorrow- and are probably praying like myself that there are no career threatening injuries during the game. We should pray for the officiating crews and the players and coaches of ALL of the teams at all of the games.

And the last basic rule is…

It’s alright to pray for your team during the game. In the word of God it says that we are “to cast all our cares upon Him for He cares for you”. However I think I can speak for all of humanity when I note that we often don’t give our cares to Him in the first place and that if we do…we often take them right back! So come tomorrow and that 49er game I will be praying…probably often. This will not come as a surprise to God, to borrow another sporting analogy that’s par for the course, he expects that. What has to be remembered is that as I’m praying for my 49ers at the same time others will be praying for their Seahawks.

Going Deep

So far I’ve been talking about pretty basic stuff but it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of being a Christian Sports-fan and by the time you’ve read to the end you might just understand why I’ve been putting this post off until the last second. I’m not spoiling anything by stating from the start that being a Christian Sports-fan is a lot more complicated and a lot more difficult than it looks. In order for what I’m about to say to make sense we have to pause right now and get into The Word,  you will find the passage in Luke 10: 25-37 (you can either read it in your Bible or read it below):

Luke 10:25-37

[25] On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

[26] “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

[27] He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.‘”

[28] “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

[29] But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

[30] In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. [31] A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. [32] So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. [33] But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. [34] He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. [35] The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

[36] “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

[37] The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Do You See The Rubber Hitting The Road?

As Christians, and on top of that as sports-fans, our neighbors are everyone, including the fans of our greatest nemesis, in my case the Seahawks! As impossible as that might sound to 49er fans it sounds equally impossible to Seahawks fans because they have to be neighborly to us!

As Christians we are to not only love others as we ourselves would like to be loved, it’s even more impossible than that- no we may well have to love them at our own expense.

We have to show this Christian love to other fans whether we WIN or LOOSE!

I hope my 49ers win tomorrow obviously, yet if they do I must be a Christian witness in my reaction to the victory. Being passionate in victory is just fine, you should indeed celebrate the victory. However as a Christian you should NOT gloat and rub it in the opposing fans faces, that is wrong in more ways than one and a horrible witness to boot.

The fans of the loosing team will fell really bad, crestfallen over the loss if you are a fan of the winning team you should offer your support and show kindness to them!

This is not natural, self and selfishness wants to assert itself big time when you’re passionate, yelling at the screen and just coming down off a huge win. It’s much more natural for:

“IN YOUR FACE ______* RULE!” *Place your team here.

Than it is to say:

“Wow that was a great game! I’m sorry there had to be a loosing team but let me tell you much respect to your team for a great run! I’ll always worry about this match up in the future.”.

Sometimes your greatest victory in witnessing can come out of how you react in defeat. The key point for the Christian is to show respect, love and mercy to all who are where you’re at no matter which team they support.

Post-Game Wrap Up

I won’t lie, I want my 9ers to win, I know they can go in there and win. I will be disappointed if they don’t.

However more important than that is the power of my Christian witness. I’m already on the ultimate winning team, I’m safe and secure in Christ Jesus. Wouldn’t it be a true victory if my actions and words were a powerful witness to bring someone else onto that winning team?

Isn’t leading people to Christ more important than a football game or other sporting event?

Of course it is, but regardless of whether you lead someone to the Lord or not use these guidelines, keep them in mind and be a responsible Christian sports-fan!

 

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