Competition is a healthy part of life. It motivates us to excel to be the best that we can be. Competition is best experienced on the field of play engaged in sporting activities. Does the Bible speak about sports? Yes. There are many sports Bible verses that reference athletic activity. Paul spoke about running the race of the Christian life to win in 1 Corinthians 9:24. At the end of his life in 2 Timothy 4:7 Paul claimed to be awaiting his prize after finishing his race. As Christians when we are on the field, our aim is not to bring glory to ourselves but rather to God. The question you should ask yourself is, is God getting the glory?
Sports Bible verses, however, are often intended to point the reader back to the spiritual life. Exercise is valuable for this life but spirituality has eternal consequences. Christians must keep their focus on their true home in heaven. When we do this we are able to have a good attitude about winning and losing in sports. We also know that those who are “in Christ” are more than conquerors and have already overcome sin and death (Romans 8:37).
Eric Liddell is a great real life example of this balance between desiring healthy physical competition and maintaining one’s spiritual life. He was a talented sprinter from Scotland who qualified for the 100 meter dash in the 1924 Paris Olympic Games. When the 100 meter heat was scheduled on a Sunday, he refused to run because it conflicted with his conviction about dedicating Sunday as “the Lord’s Day”. Later he was able to run in the 400 meter race and won the gold medal. In the 1981 film, Chariots of Fire one of his favorite sports Bible verses is quoted, “ but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (NIV).
I love watching sports but I think we should be careful when watching. There were times I was supporting a team and wanted the other team to make mistakes. For me I began to see that this was very selfish and not heaven minded. Because why should we wish the fall of another team so that our team would win. I would say there is a healthy part of sports but we should be careful it doesn’t take us to the negative.
7 Sports Bible Verses
- In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. Psalms 56:11
- For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 1 John 5:7
- When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. Proverbs 16:7
- I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. Psalms 108:3
- Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. Psalms 23:6
- Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. Psalms 119:2
- For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Mark 8:36