How to Be a Happy Sportsperson: Game Day

How to Be a Happy Sportsperson: Game Day

DAY 1 OF 12

Everyone wants to be happy.

And as you prepare for your sport today, you will be fully aware that if you do well and win, you will enjoy yourself later. If you don’t, the mood will be very different.

Life feels great when you’re fit, in good form, winning and favoured by the management. Yet, inevitably, at some points in your sport, you will experience periods of injury, loss of form, losing streaks and, if in a team sport, being dropped. These are unpleasant, insecure and unhappy times.

Today you will once again jump onto this roller-coaster and await the highs or lows that follow. The nature of sport means that, almost certainly, you cannot predict the result. So, you have no idea what the rest of the day will feel like.

If you yearn to find a better balance between being too hyped-up by sporting success and too downcast by failure, this series of Game Day may provide you with the solution. It will claim that being a Christian can provide you with a degree of happiness that is more consistent, regardless of match-day performance.

This stability results from believing the good news about Jesus Christ.

The Christian message is that God loves you so much that he sent his son into the world to die on a cross, to pay the penalty for your rebellion against your creator. Christ then destroyed death by his resurrection, liberating you to a new life that will last beyond the grave. Finally, God has sent his Spirit to live in you, as your divine coach and mentor, for the rest of your life.

This good news is the context of the teaching from Jesus that we will explore in this series of Game Day. We will consider Jesus teaching on ‘happiness’, sometimes known as ‘the beatitudes.’ Before we dive into this teaching in detail next week, it is important to note the constant danger of putting the cart before the horse when we read Jesus’ teachings.

It is a typical and very serious misreading of Jesus’ teaching to assume that being a Christian depends on your performance, on what you do for Jesus, rather than on what Jesus had done for you.

Jesus is speaking to two groups of people in this verse – he is primarily speaking to his disciples but at the same time listening in are the crowds. To the disciples, those following him, he is sharing the blessings that result from having God at work in their lives. All the work of God in your life is due to his initiative borne from his mercy and love for you rather than your efforts to please him.

If you are a sportsperson and disciple of Jesus and can grasp that your hope is in his love for you rather than your efforts to please him, the words of Jesus regarding true happiness will transform your sporting life. You can then be sure that God loves you regardless of any achievements or failures, sporting or otherwise. Winning can’t increase his love; losing can’t diminish it. He loves you because you are in Christ.--

But also listening in with his disciples are the crowds; maybe you relate more to them, rather than his disciples, as you read Jesus’ words. You’re looking in on Jesus to see what Christianity is all about, and you are considering Jesus’ invitation to turn and trust in him to experience his work in your life.

So today, as you prepare to compete, consider the benefits of being a disciple of Jesus. Here’s the claim: God can provide you with a remarkable psychological and emotional equilibrium during the highs and lows of today’s sport. Whether you do well or badly, win or lose, God’s love will be entirely consistent, and this is your definitive source of happiness. It is invaluable to remind yourself of this as you step out on this Game Day.

Pray for yourself

Dear Lord, Thank you that I can pray to you as your disciple, knowing you are listening. Thank you for your promise of true and lasting happiness through the Lord Jesus. Thank you for the work of Jesus in saving me – I do not deserve this! Help me to sit under your teaching as we look at these teachings of Jesus and to respond rightly. In your name, Amen.

Pray for your friends.

Finally, take a few minutes to pray for your sports friends and colleagues - that God will open a door for his message in your club or team.


About this Plan

How to Be a Happy Sportsperson: Game Day

How can sportspeople, whether professional or amateur be truly happy? Jesus tells us in his famous teaching in the Sermon on the Mount in the Beatitudes.

We would like to thank Christians in Sport for providing this plan. For more information, please visit:

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