Hero worship and athletes is a tough balance to strike… it is far too easy to make our heroes into idols. For instance? After weeks of pleading with LeBron James to stay in Cleveland, it only took a few minutes after his announcement of the move to Miami for his jerseys to start being burned in the streets of Cleveland. It was a reminder of how quickly our heroes can bring us disappointment—especially if we allow that hero worship to slide into idolatry. We must be careful how we look at our heroes… it could become something else—something worse.
This, however, is not limited to sports. What are some of the idols we face? Success? Money? Relationships? Things? What about self, the greatest idol of them all?
All of these have the potential to be legitimate, and all have the potential to lead us into idolatry—so what makes the difference? What makes an idol? The key in found in Romans 1:25:
For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.
The fact is that anything that takes the place of God in our lives is, for all intents and purposes, an idol. It might be a person, an activity, a possession—but if it replaces God in our hearts it is an idol. Compare Israel’s history and the charge:
You shall have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:3)
No matter what it is, anything that we place alongside of or ahead of God is an idol… and must be dealt with! Join us tomorrow on Sports Spectrum radio as we take a further look at the need for healthy perspective as we consider the realities of idolatry in our world.
Bill Crowder, Sport Spectrum Chaplain