Should Christian athletes be competitive? This is a question that gets asked amongst many people in the sports world. Through the controversial subject of “tebowing,” both sides have defended and spoken about why Christians should or should not be competitive.
As a current Christian athlete, I firmly believe that we should be competitive and use our talents to glorify God. How are they “glorifying” Him, many people ask? Well, it is as simple as this.
God has blessed us with many talents in this world. Some are gifted through writing and others are through art or knowledge. But what many people forget to acknowledge are the athletic abilities that God has willingly given athletes.
Yes, they are just as fruitful and purposeful as the rest. Everything God has created is beautiful, unique and made to be even greater than what we can imagine. That is where our behavior as Christians comes into play. We are called to put our life into our talents and to magnify the gifts by sharing it with the world.
Taking a stand for one’s faith is an important asset as an athlete, and it is something spiritual athletes should be proud about.
There is no question that professional Christian athletes have experienced the wrath of people who believe Christians should not participate in sports at a prestigious level.
Professional Christian athletes such as Tim Tebow and LoLo Jones are publicly ridiculed and discriminated against for their open beliefs and views as Christians.
Through slander, we have watched and heard of the ways people view Christians in sports. Some say having a dominating mentality is against Christian beliefs. But is this really a dominating mentality? Is it so wrong for a Christian athlete to want to use his or her talents in a way to glorify God?
The Bible says we should do all things for the glory of God (Colossians 3:17). Isn’t competing in sports just another way to use our talents to demonstrate that?
Athletic and physical training has its metaphorical place in Scripture. These things too have significance and have a place in the Bible and in God. In 1 Timothy 4:8, Paul discusses that it is for godliness to take ultimate precedence and regardless of the win or lose, the function of the action is used in His name.
God comes first and athletes, as well as daily Christians, should not forget to honor God with all that we are and all that we do. Winning a national title or a super bowl does not change who we are as followers of God.
No matter what our outcome is as Christian athletes, we use our physical talents to praise God and to thank Him for the daily gift he has given us to run, play basketball, or whatever we do.
Being in a Christian community at Malone and a collegiate athlete is one of the toughest separations I have been able to accomplish. But I learned that I, along with other Christian athletes, do not have to separate myself from the two.
Tim Tebow has been a light for Christian athletes to come out of their shell and glorify God in every aspect of life. [pullquote]I believe it is bold and brave for Christian athletes in the professional world to take on the leadership of being followers of God.[/pullquote]
As it says in 1 Corinthians 9:25-27, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
If the worse thing a Christian athlete does is “tebow” for God, is it really all that bad? Hasn’t there been worse things done?
We are called to be different in the world, and being different means being bold enough to show the world our God-given talents through every aspect of our lives. I believe that every Christian athlete should firmly take charge of his or her life and display the obedience he or she has for our Savior.
It has been a journey for me discovering faith in sports. Although my first love was in sports, I grew to learn about faith and God and learned there was a way of being competitive and being a follower of Christ.
Read more about the athletic department’s view on faith in sports here.