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"God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast and when I run, I feel his pleasure."

Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire

Is sport sinful?

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. I Timothy 4:8

From the time of the Puritans onwards some Christians have strongly discouraged any involvement in sport. This has been either because the activity was felt to be of itself sinful or because of sin associated with sport. That the environment of sport was predominantly non-Christian, often associated with drinking and gambling as well as provoking an aggressive and competitive spirit, was enough to convince many Christians to steer well clear of it.

It is true that the world of sport can be a very godless place: but can't all aspects of life be like this? As I read the New Testament, I do not see Jesus avoiding "sinful" places. He went there, rather, to transform them.

If, as I am suggesting, sport is part of God's creation and our ability to play and enjoy sport, a gift from God, then there is every reason for us to use those gifts for God's glory.

As an activity in which we can use the gifts and abilities God has give us, sport is as valuable and significant as any other aspect of life. Playing sport is as legitimate as any other human activity. As former South African cricketer, Peter Pollock, put it: "How you handle fame, success and failure and your perspective on life, is what glorifies God, not the trophies and prizes and acclamation".


Stuart Weir

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