But, I enjoy sports...

[Sports] are not helping to prepare the youth for practical, earnest work in life. Their influence does not tend toward refinement, generosity, or real manliness.

Adventist Home (AH 500.2)

The Lord calls upon all who claim to have received Christ as their personal Saviour to obey the words: 25LtMs, Ms 73, 1912, par. 22

If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

Matthew 16:24

It's how I like to stay active and healthy...

But the Lord has declared that the better way is for them to get physical exercise through manual training and by letting useful employment take the place of selfish pleasure.

25LtMs, Ms 73, 1912, par. 20

But what if God gave me this talent?

Question if God has given you other talents as well which you have not cultivated through practice that could be better utilized for Him.

God bestows talents upon men, not that these talents may lie useless or be employed in self-gratification, but that they may be used to bless others. God grants man the gift of time for the purpose of promoting His glory. When this time is used in selfish pleasure, the hours thus spent are lost for all eternity.

25LtMs, Ms 73, 1912, par. 21

Origins of Sports

Some of the most popular amusements, such as football and boxing, have become schools of brutality. They are developing the same characteristics as did the games of ancient Rome. The love of domination, the pride in mere brute force, the reckless disregard of life, are exerting upon the youth a power to demoralize that is appalling.

Adventist Home (AH 500.3)

Have you ever questioned where sports came from?

The Sumerian Gilgamesh story inscribed in cuneiform tablets narrates how the sporting equipment–a stick and a ring or ball–which Gilgamesh had carved out of an uprooted tree, had fallen into the netherworld as he began oppressing his people by repeated athletic competitions, and how eventually it was the sun god who opened a hole in the ground in order to recover them. The Olympic torch, which the runner carries to mark the sun’s cyclic movement throughout the “Olympiad”, the four-year period until the next games, is also related to the sun’s cyclic rhythm. First celebrated in Greece, the games were ceremonial contests in honor of Zeus. ” Stephen G. Miller, "Ancient Greek Athletics" (2004)

Other than rituals to the gods, the Romans used sports as a political tool to entertain and distract.

While less discussed, the Colosseum’s significance was actually far more than just as a theatre for mass entertainment; from its design and architecture through to the events it played host to, the amphitheatre served as a tool to Roman Emperors for political control. Rome was indeed hungry for entertainment and distraction, and the Colosseum’s events reflected the various rulers’ desires to win over political capital and strengthen their rule. Victorious battle reenactments served to foster the spirit of Roman imperial prowess, and the courage of gladiators symbolised the might of the Roman warrior... The one hundred days of games put on for the opening of the Colosseum was an unprecedented spectacle in entertainment, and the people of Rome were enraptured. ” Durham University "The Colosseum: A Political Tool"

Once in Sydney I saw a great multitude on one of the streets. Hundreds and hundreds, and I might say thousands, were gathered together. “What is the matter?” I asked. “It is because of the cricket match,” was the answer. And while men were playing the game of cricket, and others were watching the game, Satan was playing the game of life for their souls.

14LtMs, Ms 99, 1899, par. 20

Designed to distract

They stimulate the love of pleasure and excitement, thus fostering a distaste for useful labor, a disposition to shun practical duties and responsibilities. They tend to destroy a relish for life's sober realities and its tranquil enjoyments. Thus the door is opened to dissipation and lawlessness with their terrible results.

Adventist Home (AH 500.4)

Sports are formed to distract and consume our time. We must not let anything take us from

There were some who were striving for the mastery, each trying to excel the other in the swift running of their bicycles. There was a spirit of strife and contention among them as to which should be the greatest. The spirit was similar to that manifested in the baseball games on the college ground. Said my Guide: 'These things are an offense to God.

Testimonies, vol. 8, pp. 51-52

We have a work to do!

We have no time to waste on any activity that takes us from the purpose God has for us!

We are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.

1 Corinthians 3:9

Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

1 Peter 2:9

We need more time with prayer

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find Him, if thou seek Him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

Mark 11:23

Let our sport be the race for salvation

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

Hebrews 12:1-3