“To do or not to do”

Letters from those finding their way in faith.
Tony Polanco
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:11 pm

“To do or not to do”

Post by Tony Polanco »

Greetings to everyone at TPOT.
May God continue to bless all of you.

I was just wondering what are your thoughts on playing basketball?

For a while I have struggled with this question .. I usually play once a week on Thursdays for about 5yrs now; on and off because I’m not sure if the Lord wants me doing that although I must point out He has taught me things about myself while on the court and after the games that I was not aware off or was ignorantly ignoring before. There is definitely purpose in everything .

One example of the many ; One time there was this guy who went for the first time and was playing really well, while on the other hand I was having a rough day on the court , the guy was really cocky , was boasting and trash talking our team throughout our session , that was all that was needed at the moment to expose the pride , jealousy and envy in my heart. At first I tried justifying my internal reaction by blaming it on his ways but the truth is that was his problem , the Lord would deal with that in his life , in other words that wasn’t my sin that was his. My sins were being exposed and that’s what had to be dealt with concerning me. Since then I haven’t really noticed myself doing that anymore but I do know only the Lord can and will purge me of all my impurities.

A couple of examples of why I have been skeptical about going lately :

1) I start questioning what is driving me on the court to play well ? Is it the praise I get of men ?
I think it’s normal for me to want to contribute to the team, but why do I want to contribute ? Because it is good or because I like the praise I receive from it? At times , the team cheers me on “good shot T”, “your on fire “ , “your killing them out there” my response most of the time is thanks but there are times I catch my self smiling and enjoying the fact I was able to contribute (I’m not sure if it’s the praise I’m enjoying or the fact that I’m contributing in a way), whether it’s on offense or defense.
Sometimes I feel like they are just being supportive to there team member and I’m being religious. In a sense, I believe the Lord is using these things and people as He develops the outcome He wants.

2) The guys tend to shout a lot of profane words while on the court. I’ve called them out on it but you know how it is , there’s nothing I can do about it except not participate in the ball session. That leads me to wonder am I unequally yoking myself with them , therefore disobeying ? Should I just keep ignoring the bad words and play through it just because I want to play ball ? Am i in disobedience ? I mean it’s a really good workout but I know that in itself is of little profit , which also leads me to ask , what am I truly profiting of this ? I mean yeah I have profited off the things I’ve leaned in the process but my purpose of going isn’t driven by that of spiritual profit but rather recreational purpose. A lot of questions come to mind ..

I would love to know what’s your take on this ..

Thank you ,
Tony.

Isaiah Dillard
Posts: 75
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:33 am

Re: “To do or not to do”

Post by Isaiah Dillard »

Tony,

I understand where you are coming from, as you want to be well pleasing to The Lord. As I brought up on the conference call last Sabbath, I used to stress myself with these thoughts when it came to watching sports, specifically football and basketball. To go in a little more detail: Basketball is my favorite, which I’ve played since I was a kid. I’m not that good, but I truly enjoy it. I used to think I was going to be a sports announcer, anchor or analyst. For a time 7 years ago, I wrote articles for a local news website in Las Vegas as the sports writer. I used to idolize sports, especially Ohio State Football/Basketball, Dallas Cowboys and the NBA in general. I would be miserable if I missed a game, believing I missed out on something important.

Now, I watch games and highlights here and there as I enjoy and learn things (as you pointed out playing), but I know by God’s grace, I am no longer a FAN (Fanatic). The fact that you are pondering on these things is a work from The Lord and is something that not too long ago you more than likely never thought of. It’s a good thing this is happening, as The Lord is exposing things in your heart that He wants to rid of.
We live in the world, but are not of the world. We are going to be around those in the world that glorify the flesh, which whether in basketball or your job this will happen. This scripture comes to mind:

1 Corinthians 5:9-13 ESV
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges[c] those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

Basketball is a fun sport to play. Some play it for reasons of pride and covetousness, and others play for fun and enjoy the team aspect of it. It all depends on the motives, which based on your testimony, The Lord is cleansing you of these things.

Victor Hafichuk
Posts: 748
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:07 am

Re: “To do or not to do”

Post by Victor Hafichuk »

Tony, consider that you're questioning this matter, not without cause.

Tony Polanco
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:11 pm

Re: “To do or not to do”

Post by Tony Polanco »

Thank you Isaiah and Victor , your absolutely right on what you’ve pointed out. The Lord knows how much I needed to ask these things , just as much as I needed to get the responses I got .

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