That's Why They Play the Game!

by Stan Mitchell
champions2.jpgDid you notice that nine out of ten writers in Sports Illustrated predicted the Celtics would beat the Lakers in the NBA finals? You might also have noted that France, one of the favorites to win the World Cup (and finalists in the 2006 World Cup), did not even emerge from their preliminary round.
So if these sports teams were clearly the stronger sides, why did they go to the trouble of actually playing the games?
I like what sports announcer Chris Berman says: “That’s why they play the game.” All week the commentators and experts will be telling us why one sports team has “no chance” of beating the other team this weekend.
Here are the statistics, here’s what the betting line is, this team hasn’t beaten that team for ten years!
Then on Saturday, they play the game, and the team with “no chance to win” wins.
That’s why they play the game!
Have you ever observed a person who assumed he was immune to temptation falling for the same old things? How could that middle-aged husband fall for that young woman’s flattery?
Why did that up-and-coming executive ruin his career by embezzling his company’s money? Why did that church leader divide the church on the flimsy excuse that he didn’t get his way?
Overconfidence, that’s why! Thankfully, God sometimes does us a favor, and humbles us. He “opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6 ESV).
Or, as Solomon would say, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18, ESV).
No one is immune to pride. And pride comes before a fall. When someone tells you that you are the greatest, and you can’t fail … don’t believe it!
That’s why they play the game!

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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