“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” – 1 Corinthians 13:11
This verse comes to mind at the start of a new football season as fantasy football drafts begin and chatter increases about the hopes of a college or NFL team’s success. It’s a time where grown men find it reasonable to yell at television sets, constantly check player stats on their phones in the middle of conversations and sometimes let the result of a game determine their mood for the day.
There is no argument that sports are an idol in our culture today, particularly pro football. While the game of football used to be compelling enough without throwing music superstars, beer commercials and immodest cheerleaders into the mix, the marketing behind pro football is a monster that shows no signs of slowing down. Take out “pro football” in that last sentence and replace it with health, fashion or social media and you get the same result. Distractions surround us and too often, we act like children, reaching for what doesn’t satisfy and unable to concentrate on God and others.
As Christian men and women, we have a responsibility to see through the distractions and make sure the time and energy we spend on things of temporary value pales in comparison to the eternal value we place on strengthening our family and friends as we strive to mature as Christians.
Pray Together (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
Praying together with our spouses, family and friends reveals the hearts of those involved. By sharing our prayers together and affirming God and not things is the answer to our prayers can slow the pace of life, restore focus and keep distractions from preventing intimacy with God and with each other. Communicating our needs to each other allows others to pray with and for us.
Read The Bible Together (2 Timothy 3:16)
The Bible is nourishment. Just as we share a meal together, sharing scripture together feeds us with truth where distractions deprive us. Reading the bible together encourages, strengthens and challenges each person as it reveals God’s character in the middle of a society where character is constantly challenged.
Serve Together (Galatians 5:13)
Whether helping a local food pantry, doing yard work for a widow, or even offering to babysit for a couple, serving together takes the emphasis off of your needs as you seek to meet the needs of others. There are many ways children, teens, singles, married couples and families can serve together and serve each other when motivated by a selfless attitude.
Worship Together (Psalm 29:2)
Worshipping together reminds us what we are here for and what we will do for an eternity. In worship, we say as a team “God, you come first” and our hearts are reconnected to the center of our being as we praise God and affirm that He is larger than any problem we face while He remains close enough to us to care about the finer details.
See the idols for what they are today. Status, pleasure and security don’t stand up to the contentment and joy found in an intimate relationship with God. As you pray, read scripture, serve and worship with your friends and family, remember the only stat that matters is if your team is pursuing this intimate relationship that is given to us through belief in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.