Psalm 37 and athletic competition.

Some further thoughts about sport and athletic competition from Psalm 37.

(Top) Wayde VanNeikerk (a believer) World record holder 400m (43.03)

(Below) Usain Bolt (not a believer) World record holder 100m (9.59) and 200m (19.19)

We are frail human beings and in our best state we are altogether vanity (Psalm 37:5), “Surely every man walketh in a vain show:” If what we do is for our own glory it is absolutely vain! In fact it is displeasing to God for anyone to take glory to themselves for any achievement. All who compete for their own glory, or money or fame are foolish and vain. We ought to glory alone in God (Jer. 9:23-24). Our beauty or strength consumes away like a moth (v11). We have nothing left to show for our short lives! Much of what we do is vain (The whole book of Ecclesiastes has much to say about this). That you beat someone else of the same age (or younger or older!) in some sport is ultimately down to the ability God gives you, one wins, one comes second, one is an “also ran.” So it boils down to God’s enabling, although your own training also contributes, but even that you do by God’s providential help. So are you “better” than someone else or is it that God gives you more ability on the day, and you have avoided injury etc.? I think it’s the latter! That said, if God has given you a measure of health and strength and you enjoy sport, do it heartily as unto him, for his glory, as being a good steward of all his gifts. All done in consecration to him and obedience to his word will be rewarded.

concept2_record_1_julian kennedy


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