Rekindling Spiritual Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm.SpiritualLast night Norma Jean I joined 74,326 pumped-up fans  who watched the championship game of the men’s NCAA basketball tournament between Louisville and Michigan.  Well, not from the Georgia Dome!  But from our home.

The game was exciting.  Both teams played with passion.  The fans were boisterous. The coaches were high-spirited.  The announcers were exuberant.  The game and everything around it could be described in one word “enthusiastic”!

Yet none of this mattered.   At least that’s what Dr. Keith Ablow  said on Meghan Kelly’s  American Live yesterday on Fox News.  

Dr. Ablow, a psychiatrist, is a member of the Fox New’s Medical team and a regular contributor.  Yesterday in an opinion piece he wrote an article, “Why Sports Don’t Matter to the World.”  It was a reaction to the scandal involving former Rutgers University basketball coach Mike Rice.  Video recently surfaced of him berating, hitting, and throwing basketballs at players.  Of course, Rice was fired. In the article Ablow argues that despite our obsession with them, sports “don’t matter to the world.”

“It’s time the world of sports and sports fans got over themselves. They are a glaring symbol of how little passion of their own people have now, how much they need to be ceaselessly entertained and how willing they are to settle for being fans, instead of fanning the flames of their own passions. Mike Rice is a creation of whatever psychological forces turned him into a bully—probably from boyhood. But he is also a product of a culture that wrongfully deifies sports figures, including coaches, and is lost in pretending that who wins the Final Four matters to the future of our existence—which it does not, at all. Not one bit. Not one iota.”

If you are interested in reading Dr. Ablow’s column, here’s the link.

I hate to agree with Dr. Ablow.  I like sports.  I played sports.  I watch sports. Especially, basketball–the best sport!   Yet, I sometimes wonder how much better  the world would be if Christians possessed the same enthusiasm for spiritual matters, as we do a ball game?

Of course, team sports is not the only outlet for our enthusiasm and energy.  There are many distractions in our world today that clamor for our time and attention.  Hunting. Fishing. Golfing. Traveling. Socializing. Watching television. Various hobbies. Family functions. Children’s extra-curricular activities.  None of these are wrong.  All have positive benefits.

Yet, soon, if we are not careful, these crowd out time for prayer.  Bible study.  Spiritual devotion.  Public worship.  Evangelistic outreach.  Community involvement.  Charitable activities. We only have so much energy and enthusiasm.

The Bible exhorts, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ” (Col 3:23-24).  This was actually spoken to slaves in regard to their work for their masters.  Yes, you can be enthusiastic for the Lord, and glorify him in your job!

In fact, the word “enthusiasm” comes from the Greek “en theos” which means “God in us.” All human beings are created in the image of God.  But as Christians we have a spark of the divine nature.  If there is any group of people in the world that ought to be positive, progressive and enthusiastic, it should be Christians!

And so, if you are a Louisville Cardinal fan enjoy the moment.  Cheer their achievement. And Celebrate their success.  But let’s all remember, while the game was fun,  there are greater issues in the world, bigger problems, and concerns that demand our attention.  The key, of course, is proper balance.  Priorities.  And perspective.

May we harness the enthusiasm that we exude in the arena of sports for spiritual goals.  Spiritual outreach.  Spiritual worship.  Spiritual work. And ultimately spiritual victory!

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under Life

12 responses to “Rekindling Spiritual Enthusiasm

  1. Janice Cielo

    I can see how we as parents get so caught up in our kids’ sports. They are a a great vehicle for teaching teamship, discipline, sportsmanship, and victory. We should not overlook our children’s spiritual lives for they can teach those same principles with an eternal purpose. There are so many more opportunities for the kids nowadays, and still the greatest lessons about commitment comes from the example a parent sets before their child about the dedication of their own faith towards God. Love sports, but love God first.


  2. Ken Green

    Precisely. It doesn’t matter who wins the game. We easily lose focus, but it doesn’t matter. And, it doesn’t really matter who wins a war. Or who wins an election. Or if the government is democratic or socialist. It doesn’t matter if we are well off or poverty stricken. The fashion of this world is passing away. If what we believe or say we believe is true, only one thing really matters.


  3. John Witt

    Can we get excited about eight prisoners being baptized at Lawtey CI, Fl last Sunday. The angels did. And we ought to.


  4. I think like so many other things-namely technology-it is so easy to get distracted. I think that is more of a problem then sports. However, I do see the argument that we need to put the same if not more passion and enthusiasm into our faith as we do sports.


  5. Ezekiel, western uganda

    may the lord help us to have this zeal in his work than worldly activities.


  6. Bob Starr

    In the movie “City Slickers” the grizzled old cowboy gives us his take on how to live an important life. He says only “one thing” really matters, and we individuals get to choose what that “one thing” is. Solomon also says that only one thing is really important but in his wisdom he states that to “Fear God and keep His commandments” is our whole duty. I think that God’s wisdom told through Solomon leads to a more positive end. Do you agree?
    R. Starr


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