— Sporting News (@sportingnews) September 25, 2015
There’s been an ongoing feud between Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers since last year’s NFC Championship game, and it has to do with God.
Rewind to last January when the Seahawks defeated the Packers, Wilson told Sports Illustrated’s Peter King: “That’s God setting it up, to make it so dramatic, so rewarding, so special. I’ve been through a lot in life, and had some ups and downs. It’s what’s led me to this day.”
Rodgers responded to that quote by saying: “I don’t think God cares a whole lot about the outcome. He cares about the people involved, but I don’t think he’s a big football fan.”
Rodgers does have faith, though, as he said this before Super Bowl XLV media day: “I just try to follow Jesus’ example, leading by example.”
So, does God truly care about football? Does he have anything to do with the outcome in games every Sunday?
Here’s where I stand on this issue:
I agree with Rodgers in that God doesn’t care about the outcome of a particular game because he loves all his children and isn’t a “fan” of one team more than another. However, for those who might claim that God doesn’t care about football at all, I tend to disagree.
God cares about what his children care about, as long as it isn’t idolatry. If his children place a greater emphasis on football than on him — for example, if they choose to skip church on Sunday and stay home and watch pregame coverage — that doesn’t sit well with him. Football will become a form of idolatry if it is held in higher esteem than God is, and I do believe we have a problem with sports as idolatry in this country.
However, if a Christ-loving man succeeds in his occupation and is happy about it, God will rejoice in his happiness as well. And to me, I believe Wilson is crediting God for blessing him with talent and good character and he is thanking God for those blessings and gifts. God puts us in situations that test our character and resolve. We go through trials and tribulations in all forms and we grow and develop from them.
It seems silly to think God would care about something like football. But if he is front and center in our life, it’s not wrong to think he takes joy in our pleasures, especially if we preach his goodness in those times, something players like Wilson and Tim Tebow do.