The Sports Idolatry Test

The Sports Idolatry Test

In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller describes an idol as “anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.”

He later explains that it is “anything so central and essential to your life that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living.”

Who cares? God does. He actually cares a lot. Exodus 20:4-5 that the wrath of God is coming upon idolatry. We need to take seriously anything that takes our minds off of God. I don’t know about you, but sports tend to take my mind off of God more than most things in my life.

The first step to killing our idols is to identify them. I have created a 10 question test that will help aid you in this process. Is your sport an idol? Let’s find out…

The Sports Idolatry Test

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Regardless of how you scored, I don’t think quitting your sport is the answer. I really don’t. And I think for most of you, God probably doesn’t want you to quit either. What He wants is for you to repent of the idolatrous role that sport has played in your life and then to view your sport differently moving forward.

Most idols start as good gifts that God has given us that we misuse by turning into gods. I believe sports are one of these good gifts from the Lord. What if we began to use sports as a vehicle to drive us closer to God instead of using God to get more out of our sport? We get this backwards!

This is just a test to identify where you are at. It is not meant to provide all the answers on what to do next, but I want to at least give you a few options.

Check out on a regular basis. We are committed to helping sports minded people like yourselves live biblically at the intersection of God and sport.

Text PLAYBOOK to 775-204-0404 and we will send you a free devotional every morning. These are biblically based devotionals written to athletes and coaches.

Check out my book The Assist: A Gospel-Centered Guide to Glorifying God Through Sport. The book is devoted to helping you leverage your sport to give God the glory He wants!

This article originally appeared here.

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Brian Smith is on staff with Athletes in Action at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is married with 3 kids, likes the Detroit Lions probably a little too much, and graduated with a degree in Journalism from Wake Forest University. You can find him on Twitter @BrianSmithAIA or contact him by email at