It’s been a sports kind of Sunday afternoon. Living in the Detroit area, we are of course Detroit Tiger fans and Detroit Lion fans. This afternoon, both teams happen to be playing at the same time so we are flipping back and forth between channels.
Neither the Tigers or the Lions have had the best reputation for winning over recent years. More so the Lions – until last year. Now I don’t know the specific statistics or the wins vs losses. I don’t follow these sports teams that religiously! But I know enough that both teams are doing pretty well right now and I am getting caught up in the excitement – at least enough to be flipping between stations. That’s a first!
As I mentioned, the Lions have had some pretty miserable years. It can’t be easy being the losers all the time, and yet coming back game after game to keep fighting for the chance to win. So many people would have given up a long time ago. And yet the players persevered. The true fans kept the faith. Today’s game just ended in overtime – and the Lions won against the Eagles after being ten points behind!
The Tigers are actually in game 2 of the AL Championship Series.
What if the team players had gotten discouraged and stopped trying? What if the fans stopped coming to the games? For the love of the game and devotion to hometown teams, both the Lions and Tigers are enjoying the winning rewards of their perseverance.
This same dedication can be seen in the life of a Christian. I came across James 1:2-3 in my reading today: Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Wow. If only people would take their faith as seriously as they do their devotion to their beloved sports team. Sometimes making the ‘right’ moral decision is harder than going the way of the crowd. Playing the game of life following Jesus’ example takes courage and faith. It isn’t always easy. But James 1:12 tells us why it’s worth it: Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
I think it’s perfectly OK to follow a sports team. It can be fun attending a game with family or friends. Or if you are watching on a television somewhere, there’s the fun of the food and friends you are sharing the game with. But take that winning example home with you. If you are trying to live a more Christ-like life, keep perservering! Don’t give up! You have fans cheering you on.
What team are you on?