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The Christian Life and AFL

Following on from the last post on Christianity and Sport, I thought it would be good for us to think through how we should approach the upcoming AFL season (for those who may have a passing or more than passing interest).

In particular how should we apply Jesus teaching in Luke 6:27-28 to our teams, opposing teams, other fans, and umpires.

Luke 6:27-28 But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

Sport is about drama - focused competition, great physical and mental effort, close games, sudden reversals, critical plays etc.  It engages our emotions and draws our participation barracking for one team or the other.  But how deep should that go?  For you, where should it go on the continuum between a matter of life or death, the level of engagement in a pantomime (cheering the hero, booing the villain), or disinterest?

Do you find yourself hoping injuries happen to the opposing team, or do you sincerely hope that they will play their best and that your team will play its best as well?

Do you find yourself celebrating the other's misfortune?

Can you acknowledge and celebrate an excellent performance by whoever it is?

Do you abuse the opposition or more likely the umpires?  Beyond good natured ribbing do you actually find yourself tapping in to and feeding a source of frustration and
a capacity to denigrate the other in your soul?

Do you find yourself overlooking the real mistakes of your own side and focus on the mistakes of the umpire?

Could your interactions at the football help you to grow in your capacity to love enemies, bless those who curse you etc?  I'll think you find it can.

Go Hawks

David Wanstall, 17/02/2010