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Photo: Enigma sports

"Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing."

Vince Lombardi

Christian character

What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

Micah is not the easiest book of the Bible to read. There is the prophecy of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. But much of the rest is hard going.

The verse above is a real challenge to us. The context is that the people thought they were doing all that was required of them by observing the religious rituals. But the prophet is saying “I don’t care how many times you have been to church this month, it doesn’t seem to affect your life and that is what matters”.

How to we apply this to the world of sport? What does it mean to act justly? To keep within the rules – more perhaps. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball said: “Few college men would take money or valuables from another. Yet they are taught in the practices of our sports that it is not dishonourable to take illegal advantage of another, if there is little prospect of being caught”.

Mercy – how do we apply the concept of “mercy”. We might think of how we treat people. Respect is a good start.

Anyone in elite sport who is humble will stand out! Humility is not commonly observed. Yet that is what we are expected to be as Christians. I have a friend who is a gold medallist who can never understand why people think he is special – why people want an autograph or a picture. A lovely genuine natural humility!

Let’s make a difference for Jesus in the world of sport. Let’s act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.

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