Sports as Idol

I recently read a fascinating and helpful perspective on the place sports should and should not hold in our lives written by Robert Cunningham for ByFaith magazine. Cunningham says that all of us have been made with religious impulses and the desire to worship something. For the Christian we know these impulses have been put there by our creator and that they can only be satisfied when we worship him. But sports is often looked to as a substitute god, or idol. Cunningham says that there are three basic impulses we’ve been given: glory, community, and identity. When our team wins, we feel glory. But it is an exhaustible glory that always leaves us wanting and unsatisfied in the end. Our community needs to be the church, God’s people. Sports cannot provide a depth of community. And when we identify with our teams, and moments of greatness, more often than not this source of identity fails us. Sports should not be an ultimate thing. We need to teach our kids to live for Christ.