I am continually reminding myself that I am a Christian before all things. I am also trying to teach my kids to live that way too. So when we are involved in sports I try to use those as teaching tools for their life of faith. Below is a list of lessons I am learning and trying to teach them about sports.
1. If you don’t play, know that others are getting a chance that might need or deserve more playing time.
2. If calls don’t go your way, don’t complain, just keep playing. Referees will make mistakes like all people.
3. Stop making excuses about poor play and own up to your mistakes. (Don’t blame others either). The heart of Christianity begins by saying I am not perfect.
4. Don’t whine when things do not go your way. Just play harder on the next play.
5. Be nice to the other team. They are people with feelings just like you.
6. Don’t assume the worst in the other people, they are just a team trying their best to win. And they will make mistakes just like you do.
7. Keep your mouth shut unless you have something helpful to say. Your Christian witness is more important than winning a game.
8. Everyone has a bad day. Do not plan on being a star in every game or you will be greatly disappointed. Just do your best and God knows your heart.
9. If you don’t get awards, know that another kid might have needed the encouragement more. You know your parents love and support you, many kids do not have that at home and need it from somewhere.
10. Plan on sticking around and helping out. God’s people are servants. Picking up trash after a game is not beneath you.
All of these ideas underscore to me the need to honor God in our words and actions. I have seen numerous people forget that they are Christians when it comes to sports, especially children’s sports. Yes, I know I am as guilty as anyone. I am not trying just to teach my kids to be game winners on the field but off the field.