What does college football tell us about the Christian life?

I would not label myself as a fanatic sports fan, but I do like sports (watching them not playing them). I like college football and pro basketball the most, but I do keep up with everything from golf to tennis to some degree. I enjoy going to college football games. I sometimes feel like I have attended at a radical church service. I hear “oh God” a good bit, and toward the end of the game, if it is a close one, people are praying and making commitments to God. It’s like a crazy Billy Graham crusade! I like post-game interviews with players and coaches, those can get religious as well. Coaches and players acknowledging that God wanted them to win (he willed the other poor guys to lose) and other big theological statements like that are made. Sports make our passions high, and during this passionate time I hope to clarify truths about God that will allow you to enjoy your favorite team and at the same time keep a correct view of God.
 
1.) You are right, God is real – One good things that comes from sports is people, on purpose or out of emotion, admit that God is real and sovereign. He sets up and takes down (Daniel 2:21). He really works all things, winning or losing, for His glory and your sake. This means that God keeps score differently than us. A team that wins may actually lose, and the team that loses may be the winners. He is God and what He does is right and every sports fan that loves God should rejoice in the outcome.
 
2.) You are right, God cares – God cares about the small things in life. God cares about the people on your favorite team and your fan base. I am not saying God is a sport fan, but God does care about sport fans. We can lay all the burdens of life on Jesus because He cares for us in all things (1st Peter 5:7).
 
3.) You are right, prayer works – James 4:2-3 sums up sport prayers. Prayer works, but only prayers that have God’s will and name at the center truly emerge as answered prayers. Praying that a team wins so your pride isn’t hurt, or so you can walk around others with pride, is certainly wanting prayer answered to consume upon your own lust. 
 
4.) You are right, sharing what you are passionate about can be good (Matthew 28: 18-20) – I am a South Carolina Gamecocks fan. Before you laugh or throw stones, understand I did not become a fan without help. A friend of mine was a Gamecocks fan as well. He wore the shirts, watched the games, and went to the University of South Carolina. When I became a college football fan I became a Gamecocks fan because he shared his passion for them with me. Christians should share their passions with others. We should share our “season passes” to church with all of our family and friends. We should want them to experience the atmosphere of worshiping and serving God. Sharing your passions can ignite the same passion in others!
 

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