I picked up a copy of C.J. Mahaney’s, ‘Don’t Waste Your Sports‘ this past weekend and was glad for the opportunity to finally read this short book. C.J. Mahaney is the leader of Sovereign Grace Ministries and is an excellent speaker and author (his blog is linked on my homepage). As one who is heavily involved in sports I was thankful for this book and was very hopeful that it would shed some light on how to view/participate in sports as a Christian.
C.J. opens by reflecting on his own athletic career and the wonderful gift that sports are in this life. However, he quickly introduces the problem…the human heart. So often the ‘competitiveness’ we foster is just an avenue for our pride to be expressed.
He next draws attention to I Corinthians 10:31 and the call to do two different things: 1. Examine our hearts and lives for the presence of idolatry, and 2. Devote ourselves to the glory of God in all of life, including sports. C.J. expands on this topic by discussing the character and nature of God and then viewing every aspect of sports as an opportunity to give God glory for who he is. A key quote from these couple of chapters is, “Playing sports to the glory of God must be primary; athletic ability and achievements must be secondary.”
Mahaney closes the book by evaluating the issue of idolatry in sports. All too often “we are tempted to make sports a much higher priority than they should be”. He asks some great evaluation questions and calls the reader to reflect on eternal priorities when making decisions that are related to athletics.
All in all, a very good read and also very short. Won’t take you more than 30-45 minutes to read from cover to cover and you can probably buy a copy for under $5.