The Baltimore Orioles won the 1970 World Series. Nobody cares. Let me explain. I’m sure it was exciting for Orioles fans who witnessed or watched the games. The Cincinnati Reds were no match for Brooks Robinson and the Orioles that year. But how has the 1970 World
Series impacted your life recently? I’m guessing zero impact.
Take a moment and read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. Paul uses a sports analogy to make a spiritual point. Sports can be either a form of gluttony or godliness. So how might people become gluttons for sports? You become a sports glutton (or addict) when you care more about the game than your actual life.
Are you missing activities with your children because of sports? Are you missing worship with your church family because of sports? Are you neglecting time with God because of sports? Are you neglecting work responsibilities because of sports? Gluttony is excessiveness in one area of your life leading to a deficiency in another area.
Sports are godly when teaching self-denial and self-control. To make his point in 1 Corinthians 9, Paul uses a common illustration: an athlete. He references the Isthmian Games—a massive event second only to the Olympics. Participants trained their whole lives to compete. To be the best, self-denial and self-control were necessary.
Everyone would have known what Paul was writing about. What was the reward for winning? What was the crown? As Paul referenced, it was a pine wreath, or a perishable crown. The prize of the Isthmian Games would fade in a week. The world’s glory does not last. But our prize as believers will never fade, an eternal crown that only God can give.
As Christians, we have a specific race we’re running. We’re running toward God’s kingdom. My fear is some of you may be running from God. At the Isthmian Games, only one runner got the prize. But the prize Jesus offers is available to everyone. What prize are you pursuing? Who won the Stanley Cup in 1996? Who won the World Series in 1970? Even if you know, nobody cares. Sports can be fun, but please don’t chase the crown that fades. We’ll cover more about sports addiction on Sunday.
Run the race that brings you into eternity.