Why I Abstained from the NFL on Sundays this Year

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCT 09, 2011:  Saints Linebacker, Jonathan VilmaHave you ever taken time to work on you?  This is the great task I have undertaken and every once in a while I think it may be the craziest thing I have ever tackled.  One guy said, “Between you and you there must be no division.”  Working on me is my attempt to eliminate any division between me, myself, and I.

My friend Larry says, “It’s not what happens to you but what those things do inside you.”

I must confess.  I don’t like what happens inside me when I watch most professional sports.  It is a bit like someone flipping a switch inside my soul.

  • Suddenly, I no longer even consider if the athlete is kind, gentle, or humble and frankly, I don’t care if he is saved or lost.
  • No longer do I care about economic justice in the world.  Pay the guy whatever it takes to have a winning team.
  • He’s a thug and wife beater?  Not my problem.  I want to know if he can run, jump, block and catch.
  • It doesn’t matter to me if he is pleasing to God as long as he is the MVP.
  • Is he squandering his living with prostitutes, gangs, violence and drugs?  No worries as long as he can pull off the victory on the weekend.
  • He’s impregnating women all over the nation without even a consideration of being a father to his kids?  That’s his private life and not my concern.

My team winning a competition does strange things inside my soul.

In an effort to take a long look inside, I avoided all football on Sundays.  I’m not too sure it helped.

When I heard that the Seahawks, my favorite team since about 1976, threw a SuperBowl interception from the 1 yard line with only 30 seconds to go in the game, I found myself bummed out.  Really bummed out.  Of course I had virtually no emotions about the churches in Niger that were torched that day by Muslim extremists nor deep feelings for the perpetrator or victim of the murder in the Costco parking lot near our church.

I asked my friends who viewed the halftime show, “How did Katy Perry’s part go?”  I forgot to care that she is (apparently) a backslidden Christian in desperate need of an improved relationship with Father God.

Make no mistake about it.  I very much enjoy a great football game.

I just don’t like what I let it do inside of me.


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