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"I jump into a sand pit for a living"

Jonathan Edwards, World record triple-jumper

Living in the world of sport

“Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us “ 1Peter 2:11-12

Do you ever feel like a foreigner – or even an alien – in the world of sport? Does the phrase “among the pagans” ring true? In one sense it is the world we all know well and are comfortable in. We love the game; we love to play/coach/watch. The love for the game is our common bond with teammates. But we may struggle with the standards we encounter.

Let’s lie about the reason for postponing the game to avoid the fine; if we all stick to the story.

Let’s play the suspended player under a different name, no one will know.

Let’s get our linesman to put his flag up even when it isn’t offside ; after all the opposition will be doing it.

I know he is over age but he looks small..

[All of those are real examples from my sports career].

Perhaps the vicar in the 19th century was right when he said; “I too should like to hunt if I could hunt with a field of saints”! The ex-pro who told me the most difficult games he ever played were when he was at Bible college, might disagree.

In any case playing sport with Christians is not the answer but a cop out. Our calling is not to escape from the world. We are to be salt and light in it. How do we stand out? In 1peter 2 Peter writes of good lives (V12), good deeds (v12), doing good (v15) and living for righteousness (v24).

No one said it was going to be easy!

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