I find football gives so many opportunities to show the Christian ethos, sadly these are often very hard to take and are often not black and white circumstances.
Recently we had just 5 minutes to go and were 1-2 down in a Southern Area Christian Football League Div 3 bottom of the table clash, it doesn’t get any lower in our area!
A defender on the line smacks a clearance at me a few yards out and the ball hits my hand and goes in, the Ref was close and saw it clearly strike my hand. He knew there’s no way I could react that fast and awarded the goal, it was ball to hand and in the Refs view not intentional! The oppo go ballistic……….
Laws of the game, a goal, the handball definitely wasn’t intentional.
Dilemma, What Would Jesus Do? What do my team want? What should I do? We are losing? Should the score at the time make any difference? It would be easier if we were 2-1 up not 2-1 down! What is the positive Christian witness?
Think I got it right, this time, asked the Ref to give a free kick. Situation defused, the oppo all thanked me, my guys stayed quiet! A positive Christian witness this time……… even though it should have been a goal. Received good feedback about discussions amongst the opposition after the game about the way we want to play and eventually my guys agreed.
PS I thought God would bless us with a late equaliser for doing this, but sadly he didn’t!?
What would you do? How would you feel if you were on the losing and then the winning teams and also if the goal had been allowed to stand then how? Football gives us some great discussion points and challenges!
By Mark Blythe, firstname.lastname@example.org