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“Knowing Christ is the best thing that has ever happened to me, although winning the US Open was a pretty good second.”

Alison Nicholas

Redeeming sport

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Genesis 1:31

"Sport is too good to allow it to fade away without a serious attempt to bring positive change". John White

Over thirty years ago, Frank Deford, wrote a series of articles in Sports Illustrated in which he coined the phrase "sportianity". In a damning indictment of Christians involved in sport, he suggested that sport had had more impact on religion than vice-versa. He bemoaned the lack of Christian voice against dirty play, cheating, racism or any other moral issue in sport.

Now as Christians we believe that sport is part of God's creation but that, like the rest of the creation, it was spoiled by sin. The good news is that Jesus' death makes a way for everything to be restored.

As we reflect on our responsibility to transform sport to the glory of God, I would suggest as a good starting point, three principles, which we need to hold fast to.

1 We need to see our sporting talents and our relationships with our sports friends as gifts from God to be developed and given back to him for his glory.

2 Our identity is to be seen as who we are as part of Godís creation, not dependent on our sports performance.

3 We need too to challenge the traditional view of winning and losing and see the aim of the competition as applying our talents to the best of our ability, to the glory of God, regardless of the outcome.

Our ultimate desire is, in Cassie Carstens' words, "to see sports fields of the world become cathedrals to the glory of God."

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