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UK Registered Charity 1117093
Company Number 5947088

"Football is not a matter of life and death, it is more important than that."

Bill Shankly, Liverpool Football manager

Good or bad?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth Genesis 1:1

So, is competition good or bad? Perhaps we need to go right back to the beginning.

Did God create sport? The answer is yes and no! Of course God did not create sport - people did. It wasn't God who picked up the football at Rugby School and with it invented the game of rugby. (The historical evidence suggests that it wasn't William Webb Ellis either but that is another story.) God did not create the games we play. Yet it was God who created people and made them able to run, jump, kick and catch. Sport is simply organized play in which we can use these talents God has given us.

Lou Brock of the St Louis Cardinals said, "Competition brings out the best in any person." However when I read this I was reminded of the line in the novel by Wilkie Collins, which expressed exactly the opposite view, "The essential principle of his rowing and racing... has taught him to take every advantage of another man that his superior strength and superior cunning can suggest." RC Sproul makes a helpful distinction, "Sports are not inherently sinful. People are. We bring sin to sports."

Sport lives by comparison. We define our own level of performance by testing it against the clock or our opponent. We need that competition to develop our God given talents. If you were marooned alone on a desert island - an island with a state of the art sports centre -it would be very frustrating. What is the point of a tennis court, balls and a racquet if there is no one to compete against?

As we, as sinful people compete, we need to remember that we represent Christ as much on the court as we do in the choir. We need to seek to compete according to God's standards.

Stuart Weir

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