Thursday, August 13, 2009

Chastity and...Sports?

“Run so as to win . . .” 1 Corinthians 9:24

When you hear the word “Chastity,” the next word that comes into your mind is probably not likely to be “sports.” But when I sat down to think about it, I found that Chastity and athleticism really go hand in hand, and that the two have much more in common than I initially thought.

I haven’t played any sport, even somewhat competitively, since I was in middle school. But over the years many people have often suggested picking up basketball (which lasted less than 5 minutes) or some other sport “because it’s good for you.” Yes, I’ve always thought that sports were “good for you,” but I’ve always just assumed the benefits were mostly on the physical side – it’s good for your body, health, etc.

But I’ve found that playing a sport, or being athletically involved in some activity, really supports and helps a person to live a clean, pure life. Why? For starters, Chastity is a virtue, which means that it is a good habit. It takes a lot of hard work, courage, and discipline to live a chaste life. It requires laying down our immediate desires in order to work for a higher good – authentic love. Matthew Kelly says, “The very nature of love requires self-possession. Without self-mastery, self-control, self-dominion, we are incapable of love…” Love requires discipline.

Enter the athletic world. Playing sports requires discipline, both in body and in spirit. It takes a lot of hard work to excel in a sport, and disciplining yourself to prepare to play can also help you in your struggle to live Chastity. Disciplining your body through playing a sport can help you to discipline yourself in other areas of your life, too. Living Chastity requires discipline of the body, similar to the way that playing a sport does.

“God never gives us a challenge that he will not give us the ability to handle.”
David Eckstein
St. Louis Cardinals

A couple of great resources:

And because I’m from Kansas City: "5-Time Major League All-Star on Winning the Game for Christ."

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