"Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play…it is war minus the shooting."
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
When the penalty kick was introduced to the laws of Association Football (soccer) in 1891, there were protests against the implication that a gentleman would deliberately foul another gentleman! The rather vague offence of "ungentlemanly conduct" was introduced to the laws of soccer in 1880 has remained there ever since. The implication is clear. A certain level of behaviour is expected of anyone who chooses to play the game.
As Christians in the world of sport, we are to demonstrate and proclaim God's image and presence in all we do and, for us as sports people that must include our sport and our relationships with our teams. The WWJD principle "What would Jesus Do"may seem trite but it contains a great principle. Let us develop the attitude of asking how Jesus would act in a particular situation.
The issues for each of us in sport will be different. We all have to decide where to draw the line. It is about living for Jesus in a world where "Me first" is the order of the day, where honesty and integrity are rare.
It may mean:
- going out with the team but leaving if we are not comfortable with what they are planning;
- not being part of an organized campaign to intimidate a weak referee;
- not giving an opponent a kick when the referee isn't looking.
What is the situation that you find hardest?