Football season is an important time for many sports fans, but you need to remember that extending Jesus’ love doesn’t get pushed to the sidelines when the football season begins.
Football season is approaching us quickly, and for die-hard fans and fanatics, it can be a difficult time to have Christlike etiquette. Many people are involved with sports to the point that it can cause tempers to flare and cause people to forget their manners. If you are a person who is very passionate about football, remember to be kind in your actions and to ensure that you are displaying Christlike love both on and off the field, in the stands, and at home.
Check out these five reminders for Christlike etiquette:
1. Remember Your Top Priority is Extending Jesus’ Love
The first reminder for Christlike etiquette is to remember that your top priority is extending Jesus’ love—not advocating for your favorite football team. Oftentimes during football seasons, hardcore football fans forget that their first priority is Jesus rather than rooting on their favorite team. While enjoying football is not a problem, it becomes a problem if we idolize it. God tells us clearly in the Bible that we are not to have any idols (Exodus 20:4; 1 John 5:21). Anything that we place above God in our lives turns into an idol.
Football season is an important time for many sports fans, but you need to remember that extending Jesus’ love doesn’t get pushed to the sidelines when the football season begins. Some football fans can get quite rude and mean during football season depending on how their team is doing. It is crucial that if you are a Christian and you are a football fan, you are a Christian first and a football fan second. If you get upset, angry, and rude toward others during football season, how can you shine brightly for Christ and extend His love? Therefore, make sure you remember that your top priority is extending Jesus’ love to others, not advocating for your team.
2. Remember to Be Kind and Thoughtful
A second reminder for Christlike etiquette this football season is to remember to be kind and thoughtful to others. This reminder needs to be kept at the front of our minds at all times. During football season, it is one thing to control your temper and keep foul language at bay, but it's another thing to willingly extend kindness and thoughtfulness towards others. Even if your team doesn’t win the game, you must walk off the field, leave the stands, or turn off the tv and continue to abide by the Golden Rule.
At the end of the day, we need to remember that our actions define us as individuals. If we allow football season to turn us into rude people who are only focused on their team winning, we will miss out on truly enjoying the company of our friends during football games. While many football fans find it hard to be kind during these times, as Christians, we are called to be kind and thoughtful to others at all times, including football season. We should never allow a sport or a game to cause us to act mean toward others. (Pettiness and immaturity hold no merit for the Gospel.)
3. Remember to Be a Good Sport
A third reminder for Christlike etiquette this football season is to remember to be a good sport. I remember growing up, my sisters and I used to play soccer on a team at a recreation center. Our coaches used to always make us line up at the end of the game and shake hands with the opposite team and say “good game” to prevent everyone from being a bad sport. What our coaches wanted to ingrain in us was that the sport is just to have fun, not to cause hate or unhealthy rivalry between different players.
During this football season, we need to follow my former coaches’ advice by remembering to be a good sport. Even if our favorite team doesn’t win, we still need to be respectful to the other team and congratulate the winning team. It can make sports fans upset if their team doesn’t win, but it’s important that we remain genuinely polite. By remaining a good sport, we will have a more enjoyable time, and our friends will have a better time too because we won’t be upset with them when their team wins over ours. Being a good sport shows a great mark of maturity in an individual.
4. Don’t Let Football Cause Rifts in Friendships
A fourth reminder for Christlike etiquette this football season is to not allow football to cause rifts in friendships. As I previously mentioned, football season can cause friction between friends, especially if they are rooting for the opposite team. When we allow football or any game to interfere with our friendships, we are losing sight of what is important. Our friendships are more important than a football game or a football season.
Nobody wants to be around someone who is mean or has an attitude. Football is a fun game to watch, but we can watch it while still being civil and respecting our friends. Make sure this football season that you don’t let the game cause rifts in your friendships. Football season will come and go, but our friends will be there forever.
5. Don’t Take Football Too Seriously
A fifth reminder for Christlike etiquette this football season is to not take football too seriously. At the end of the day, football is still a game. It is not a serious matter of life or death. Many football fans take their obsession with football too far and can become quite hateful toward others during football season. Even seeing someone wearing a t-shirt with the opposing team's name and logo on it can cause them to feel irritated. Reflect on your sportsmanship to ensure you don't take football too seriously—it is only a game.
The events and outcome of the football game or the football season will not overall alter or change our lives. If our favorite team wins, that’s great, but if our favorite team loses, that’s fine too. A football game is not going to radically bolster our lives or harm them. By taking the football season too seriously, you will lose the fun of watching the games, and you might eventually become bitter toward the game. Thus, it is best to not take the game too seriously because, at the end of the day, what matters is showing Christ to others, loving others, being a good sport, and being a good friend—not whether our team won or lost.
The Incoming of Football Season
It is best to prepare ourselves ahead of time to engage in Christlike etiquette this football season to ensure that we will not lose our focus on what is important. Football season is an exciting time for many individuals, but it is vital that we don’t let the football season alter who we are as Christians and who we are as friends. During football games and seasons, it is easy for us to become territorial over our favorite team and even put down others in order to elevate our own team. As Christians, we need to remember that Christlike etiquette is avoiding the trap of acting mean, rude, or hateful toward others during this football season–and year-round.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Dave Adamson
Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.