The Bell Family

Random ponderings on God, life, and the humor all around us

What I Think About Sports


So, I’m not really much of a sports guy when you get right down to it.  And sometimes that’s a little embarassing when you’re in a room full of guys talking about the end of Michael Vick’s career and you only have a vague recollection of who that even is.  To many, I look like a geek who doesn’t like sports because he was a band nerd or something.  Which…I was.  Nonetheless, it’s time to come clean: I actually like sports.

Again, this may be a bit of a shock to some of you that know me pretty well.  This is coming from the guy who has never intentionally turned on a sports game unless it was associated with finals or championships–and then only rarely.  But I still like them.  I enjoy the thrill of watching a close game or an amazing play.  I enjoy seeing people scream their brains out about a little ball.  I enjoy competition.  If a game is ever on, I really enjoy it.

What makes me different is that I don’t much care to keep up with it.  Besides, my brother Paul kept up with it well enough for the both of us.  And I think there was a small part of me that felt the need to go down a different path, even though I really like sports.  So, he did the sports thing and I did the music thing.  But we still played baseball out back or basketball down the street or football when we had enough people or volleyball or whatever.  And I loved every second of it.

So, why in the world am I taking the time to write about this on a blog?  I really don’t have a good answer.  Perhaps it’s to defend my manhood to all who would question the manliness of a man who doesn’t watch sports.  Perhaps it’s because I couldn’t come up with anything else to talk about.  Probably a little of each.  But I think it’s mainly to say that I don’t watch sports because I can’t get myself to care enough.  I really don’t care who wins the super bowl.  I’m not that concerned with who the best quarterback or pitcher is.  Home run records matter little to me.  I just don’t care.

So, here’s where I’m headed with this.  For those of you that keep up with sports, I have a question: Why?  Why does it consume so easily?  Because at the end of the day, why do we focus so much on things on TV and stats and whatever else and care so little about the God that saves sinners?  This certainly isn’t about finger pointing.  My weaknesses are movies, books, and blogs.  And I could’ve picked anything.  But I wonder why we spend so much time on trivial pursuits and don’t pursue King Jesus.  This isn’t a rhetorical question–I actually want to know what you think.  Because I want to be sharpened, too.  I want your comments to pierce to the heart of my idolatries that pull me from presenting myself to God as a living sacrifice.  So, please, please, comment.  And I hope to interact with your comments.

At the end of the day and despite the title, this really has nothing to do with sports.  I’m inviting you to examine yourselves as I examine myself to find the places where we choose sports, books, music, chores, jobs, movies, clothes, news, etc., etc. over serving God.  It may seem small or trivial.  It may be easy to think that it’s just a little diversion or it’s not a big deal.  But I’m not so sure.  And I’d like to know what you think.


4 thoughts on “What I Think About Sports

  1. Maybe David will answer the sports stuff specifically. I love sports, but not to the point of being consumed by it. I dpn’t think my hubby is consumed by them either, but he does enjoy watching, playing, making fantasy football and baseball teams, etc. I don’t think it replaces God in his life, however.

    Me, on the other hand, will try to throw a few guesses at the whole “consumption” issue regarding other things, such as books, tv, etc.

    1. Perhaps we are not letting God fill up the “holes” we have in our walks? We are filling these “said voids” with the world, expecting to be filled, but again and again find ourselves disappointed. Just a thought. I know sometimes it is just easier for me to throw myself in front of a mindless television show than to feast on the word of God.

    2. I think we still and will always have an appetite for the world. Sadly enough, I am sometimes “entertained” by other people’s sin. I can even find myself looking in books and television just to find others that will make me fill better about myself, which is a complete and utter manifestation of pride. It also is indicative of setting my mind on things of the earth and not things above. I am embarrassed to even admit that.

    3. Lastly, I think books and TV (especially for women) can provide an escape from reality. I don’t struggle too much with this one, but I would guess that it may take that same form in men, but in the area of sports.

    Just some thoughts=)

  2. Thanks, Mandy, for your comments. I quite agree that we find it easier most of the time to absorb the world than God. Also, we find that escaping is much easier than living the life we have. That’s something I’ll be talking somewhat about in a couple of days. What bothers me in my own life is my strong desire to do many, many things (some noble, others less so), but rarely do I have a strong desire to pray to God or read about God or think about God or simply love God. I’m reading a D.A. Carson book on prayer right now and he brought up the point that what we pray for reveals our hearts. My prayers tend to be about material items and concerns and very little about God and his grace. I just wonder why we fill our lives with other things (i.e. sports, books, TV, friends, etc.) and live with so little passion for the world to come. I’m sadly horrible at this. And I pray God will glorify himself in me by his Spirit, so that I’ll desire him more than a movie and popcorn.

  3. Interesting post, Bill. I read a good pamphlet on this issue by Pastor Robert Spinney of Grace Baptist Church in Hartsville, TN. I thought it well-thought out and biblical. It avoids both extremes of saying that sports have no place in the life of the Christian (which is a denial of Christ’s lordship over all of life) and the idolatrous person who bows down at the altar of college football. Here’s the info on that pamphlet. It is available at Tulip Books ( for $2.79.

    Did God Create Sports Also?
    Thinking Christianly About Sports
    by Dr. Robert Spinney

    Just like art, music, and literature, sports are one of the many good gifts created by God. But like God’s other gifts, this one can be abused and misused. What does it mean to think Christianly about sports? Should the believer think about recreation in the same way that the rest of our sports-crazed culture does? Can an excessive commitment to sports become a form of idolatry? This booklet helps the Christian use recreation so that it becomes a means (and not an impediment) to glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.

  4. Thank you so much, Mark. I don’t really have any resources that address this issue of what we do with our “free time,” so I’ll definitely check it out. And thanks for the comment!

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