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Photo: Enigma-Sports

If I had to choose between my wife and my putter... well, I’d miss her.

Gary Player

A Testing Ground

Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16.

God’s purpose for his followers is that they should live godly lives, which please him, wherever they find themselves. To follow Jesus’ instruction in the heat of the moment on the sports field is a stern test for the Christian. Can you forgive the opponent who has just fouled you? Can you avoid resenting the opponent who has cheated and got away with it and so beaten you? Sport can be a crucible in which your faith is tested in the flames of competition.

A sign to the world that we belong to Jesus and that there is authenticity in our message lies in the demonstration of a life in submission to our Master, reflecting genuine love and forgiveness, especially in the difficult times we all experience in sport.

There are similarities between sport and the Christian life and many things we can learn from sport and apply to our Christian life. There is, too, the character-building aspect of sport. What Paul called ‘working out your own salvation’ (Philippians 2:12) on the sports field, and knowing how to react to difficult situations, can strengthen one’s faith enormously.

How you react to a “bad day at the office” may be a better barometer of your relationship with Jesus than how heartily you sing at church on Sunday morning. How you deal with being left out of a team or with an injury etc may speak more loudly to those watching you that how you act when all is going well.

Think of an area which you find difficult at the moment and pray for grace to handle it better.

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