Monday, February 6, 2012

February 6, 2012 - RESPECT find out what it means to me!

One of the common themes that comes up in my discussions about where sports and Christianity collide concerns our testimonies in the sports arena. Many of you have been reading these devotions for years and have often read my philosophy: “Players play; coaches coach; refs ref; fans cheer!” We shouldn’t cross those lines. Of course that is easier said than done…

This past weekend reminded me again of the need to even bring out the idea of simple respect in sport and life. As Americans that have been taught to “have it our way” we tend to be a very demanding people. We tend to be very vocal about our personal rights. Simply put we tend to be very self-centered.

1 Peter 2 tells us the following command in accordance with God’s will… (I guess this is predicated by whether or not you have a desire for God’s will in your life)… 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

Would you agree that sports are a part of life and not exempt from God’s will? Would you agree that this verse seems to indicate that we should be showing respect to those around us?

“Yeah Todd, but it says ‘proper respect.’ I only get upset when the ref is blind as a bat or when the coach is as dumb as a rock. I will give respect when it is earned or warranted.”

We need to be careful with the philosophies we live by. If you go just another verse in 1 Peter you see that this command is not conditional.

18 Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.

Did you get that? In the player’s Bible it may something like: Players, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your coaches, not only to those who are good, but also to those who you think are dumb. Players, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to the referees, not only to those who are good, but also to those who you think are blind as bats.

I encourage you to read that whole passage. It really gives an incredible perspective of one that honors God by honoring others especially when they don’t deserve it!

I long to see us be different! I long to see us fulfill the following challenge from this passage: 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.

Side note: Respect is such a foreign concept to this society that I was recently at a college game and witnessed a recruit that spent the entire evening with headphones in his ears, even when a coach was with him. I wanted to smack him in the back of the head and tell him to show some respect. To me that was a statement that said to the coach, “I am the center of my universe; you have not earned entrance into my realm.” It was a pathetic but unfortunately accurate picture of our society. I guess I could have done a devotion on the evils of headphones… maybe next week…

Quotes from Scripture are NIV this week...

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