Legendary sports journalist and broadcaster Howard Cosell once observed “Sports is human life in microcosm.” Cosell died in 1995, and although by the mid-90’s sports had already ascended to a preeminent place in American culture, nearly two decades later our obsession with sport of every sort remains ubiquitous. Last year over 32 million people engaged in fantasy sports, a make believe dimension dependent on real statistics from major American sporting events and athletes. The fantasy sports world has developed into a 4 billion dollar industry, as a quarter of all American males between the ages of 18 and 49 participate in some form.
Youth sports involvement outpaces the fantasy world. A study from Michigan State University claimed that by the mid-90’s over 50 million young people between the ages of 5 and 17 were engaged in at least one youth sports program. And as we all know, if you’ve ever wandered to the sideline of one of these youth sporting events, it’s hard to tell who takes it more seriously—child or parent.
Sports are thoroughly immersed in the bloodstream of American culture. But what does God think about sports? How does God view sports? When we participate as athletes, coaches, parents, or supporters, what role does God play (or desire to play) in the equation?
Developing a sound theology in relation to sports is the goal of C.J. Mahaney’s little book Don’t Waste Your Sports. It’s a concise read, only 57 short pages, and it is well worth the 30 minutes you’ll spend engaged in this pocket-book size study. It answers questions like “What does God think about sports?” and “What are sports really for?” It helps develop a sound theology for player, coach, and parent with sections giving solid biblical application for each person engaged in sports. I personally love sports, and I’ve played and participated in them my entire life. This is a book I wish I had as a reference early on as a Christian athlete, and one that I’ll reference as a Christian parent and coach for years to come.
Pick up a copy of Don’t Waste Your Sports, and play, coach or cheer to the glory of God.