As we all know football season is under way. From high school to college to NFL, football has taken over our televisions, radios and conversations. As someone who enjoys football, I personally am happy with "the takeover".
Football is an emotional sport with lots of passion in every game. Sometimes I am even surprised by my own emotions at a football game as someone who is naturally shy-er I can be quite outspoken at football games. Of course I do attribute this to being personally invested as I have two brothers who play on a high school football team...
For everyone that was at this past Friday night's game we all know how heated and emotional and physical it got as we watched our players on the field. I, personally, was beside myself with anger. I felt an injustice was being done towards our boys and I felt helpless as there was nothing I personally could do. That was probably the most frustrating part of it all for me.
Friday night as I rode home I was seething and angry and upset. It upset me to see those I care about so upset and when I got home I was still burned up about it all. The next morning I was still angry.
Andrew, my wonderful husband, was unable to attend the game did not experience what I & the rest of our football family had experienced and although he wasn't there he was upset as I explained the situation however he was not affected the way I was.
He proposed we do our family devotion Saturday morning when we woke up. He had made coffee and we sat on the couch as he opened up the book that we use, Morning and Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon.
The date was September 11th and the verse was II Corinthians 6:17. He looked it up and decided to read the passage containing verses 14-17, it says:
"14Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: 'I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.' 17'Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.' 'I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.'
I will also share some excerpts from the book that Andrew read:
"Whether he [the Christian] eats, or drinks, or whatever he does, he should do all to God's glory."
"In your spirit, as well as in your aim, you should differ from the world."
"And you should be separate from the world in your actions."
"-do not let those hearts which are before long to be filled with heaven and to overflow with ecstatic joy, be filled with pride and bitterness."
I was rebuked by the Holy Spirit and God's word Saturday morning. I was still angry and I did not and still do not feel rebuked for being angry as I believe the anger was justified, however I felt rebuked for the fact that on Friday night I hated the other team, the other coaches and the whole town. I hated those people. I felt bitter towards them and I definitely felt as though I was better than them.
As those people blatantly mocked us, physically ran over us and took pride in their actions I felt nothing but contempt for them. But who am I? Was I not a mocker of Jesus Christ himself before I was a Christian? Was I not so filthy and covered in sin that God, my very Father, could not even look at me? Was I not dying and in need of a Savior? I was.
And Friday night rather than see that this town needed Christ I saw my own elitism towards them. I saw that I was "better" than them. I saw that they were ugly. I was wrong in my feelings of hatred and bitterness towards them.
Now, do not misunderstand me. I am still angry. I believe that as a whole they were very wrong in their actions and I am not at a point to where I can pray for them however I am praying that the Lord changes my heart.
I am also praying that the Lord will use our football team, coaches and fans for His glory as we continue throughout the season. I pray that as we host other teams, coaches and fans that they will experience Christ.
I am praying that we win. And I invite you to join me in prayer everyday whether it's for only ten minutes or and hour to pray for our football team, coaches and fans and pray that we will win.
And if we win, pray that we will remember:
II Timothy 2:5
"Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules."