Question / Comment - Is all sports today idolatry? Is putting your children in sports considered wrong?
Is all sports today idolatry? Is there any room for sports? Is putting your children in sports considered wrong? My thoughts are if we put it before God, anything can be.
No, playing sports isn't idolatry in itself. Anything can be an idol but for it to become that it has to be something that a person treasures and places above God. GotQuestions writes:
Idolatry extends beyond the worship of idols and images and false gods. Our modern idols are many and varied. Even for those who do not bow physically before a statue, idolatry is a matter of the heart—pride, self-centeredness, greed, gluttony, a love for possessions and ultimately rebellion against God. Is it any wonder that God hates it?
Speaking personally, I have played sports my whole life. I really enjoy playing sports. I love the exercise, I love getting outside and competing and enjoying activity with others. The Bible says that physical exercise is of value (1 Tim 4:8) and it uses the illustration of running the race and being disciplined through sports as an illustration of the Christian life (1 Cor 9:24-27). And I can vouch for that. Sports taught me to be disciplined and not lazy, which has helped in my Christian life. Ok, sometimes I'm still lazy... but it did help (hate to see what I would have been right?! : ) And in this age where kids tend to spend far too much time in front of screens, it is healthy for them to be outside and exercising. And it is also good for them to be part of a team, learning discipline, learning to work with others towards a goal, learning self control and discipline. Sports helps in all of this. It did in my life.
So there is nothing wrong with putting your kids into sports. On the contrary It has a lot of benefits. Yes, as with any activity, whether it is sports, music, art or general past-times, there is a possibility that it becomes an obsession and is loved more than God. Then it moves into the idol area for a Christian. But if you stop your kids from playing sports for no real reason other than it is something that "could" become an idol, then it is just legalism. You will only make them bitter and probably turn them off God because Christianity will be seen as just rules, does and don'ts - and it isn't that. Instead teach them that God gives all things to enjoy and teach them to enjoy Him in the midst of it. Teach them to bring Him into all of their activities - yes even in their sports. Teach them to thank Him for their life, their abilities and the many blessings that He gives in all things that they do. And teach them to thank God whether that win or lose in their sports. It will hold them in good stead.
All the best,