Should Christians Compete?

Even though the Winter Olympics wrapped up a few days ago, sports are still definitely on people’s minds. I’d imagine that over the next few weeks every ice rink and ski slope will be full of people finding out for themselves just how strong all those athletes really are!

Whenever the culture at large turns its eyes to sports, it’s a good time to reflect on the good and bad inherent in sporting events. The Olympics are well-known for fostering a spirit of goodwill and camaraderie, but at the heart of every athlete is a fierce competitiveness that can sometimes manifest in ugly ways.

So, a few questions: do you think that Christians should compete in sporting events? Do you think there’s a spiritually good and/or evil side to competition?

6 Responses to “Should Christians Compete?”

  • Rebekah says:

    I believe that participating in a competition or performance is alright for Christians to participate in as long as our eyes are fixed on Christ.
    I remember hearing/reading a story about a Christian runner who shocked the world with his speed and talent but He made it clear that most of it was God not him. He even refused to race on Sunday putting him into an extremely risky position (according to the world of sport) placing him in a race that could very well ruin his career. But God was with him, His eyes and focus fixed on God the whole way and he triumphed.
    Though I have seen the ugliness competition can have when people are focusing only on Gold and pleasing others, it destroys the soul from inside when one constantly is reminded that they aren’t perfect when that is exactly what the sport requires of you. Many emotions are spent when you push yourself to a breaking point for your coaches and your peers counting on you to be the best when in reality no one is perfect but God who should be our strength.

    So I deeply believe that as long as we think of doing our best for God and not for Gold we can participate in competitions as long as we are good sports and proper team mates.

  • Shawn says:

    I would have to agree with the previous response. Because we have to act and behave like a Christian 24/7, wherever we are at. If you enjoy sports and can keep a proper perspective of who is always on the throne, then play away. Just remember that the trophy, or ring, or ribbon you may win is nothing compared to the prize of the upward calling of Christ Jesus!!! That is what really matters!!

  • maria says:

    I guess that all depends upon what we are competing for?

  • zerothis says:

    Competition can be more than “just alright” or “allowed” by God. People should always do their best for God’s glory. Competition is one of many tools for improving one’s best. Sadly, many sports do not emphasize the sportsmanship of players helping each other (their opponents) improve. Chess comes to mind as a sport that does emphasize it. On it states, “If you’re playing a game against a better player, don’t be afraid to ask if he or she will review the game with you after it’s over”. Of course reciprocation is expected, the better player should honestly help. But even if they don’t, the best chess players always want an equal or better opponent so that their own skill may improve. Some professional chess players object to computers because they feel the computer does not offer them improvement as another player might. However, most welcome them, especially if the computer is a better player, because they know it can only help improve their own skill.

    I don’t want people to think my example of chess somehow means mental competition is superior to physical sports. Has not the teacher said, “As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). This is not a touchy-feely sit in a support group circle and cry like a baby and finish with a group hug image (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Iron hitting iron makes noise, sparks, and heat. Rough edges violently ripped off. Its tough work and might injure the worker and its painful. And the iron refereed to by the teacher may have been a weapon, it was *certainly* designed to cut something. Can’t get much more physical than that.

    Competition can be a tool to glorify God by exercising, testifying too, and fully realizing the generous bounds of the gifts he’s given to us and our opponents.

    “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your *strength* and with all your *mind*, *and*your*neighbor*as*yourself*” [emphasis mine]. The lawyer asked, and it turns out to be perpetual question because it was included in the Bible, “Who is my neighbor?”. Jesus gave an example featuring someone the lawyer might not expect in the parable of the good Samaritan. Don’t worry I won’t make up a good sportsman or a good chess master story:) I’ll simply state plainly. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and *your*opponent* as yourself. [synonym mine]

  • David says:

    I think competition is okay as long as it dosn’t lead to taking our eyes off God. I also think that sport competition, buisness competition and other types of competition were put here by God so that we could defend christianity and other things that we want to compete against.

  • Paul says:

    I think the bible & Jesus taught passion.Inward desire to improve,win,grow,be better,and going/moving forward.Sports teaches us all these things.It’s not about competing against others.Compete against oneself.All the above comments are right on!