We all know that teammate who is a great bloke off the field. They are caring, considerate, laid back, and cheerful. But the minute they cross that white line and enter the field of play they change. They become fixated on winning, aggressive, angry, and a nightmare to play with. This person might even be you.
In our culture White Line Fever is encouraged. The classic line “what happens on the field stays on the field” tells us that as we enter the field of play we are expected to be different. We are expected to hate our opponents. And we are expected to do whatever it takes to win. As always just because our culture says its ok, does not necessarily make something ok, as Christians we want to know:
What does God think about White Line Fever?
White Line Fever stems from the importance we place on winning the game, and the importance of our performance. Don’t get me wrong, we want to win the game and we want to play our best, but this needs to be put into perspective. When we have a case of White Line Fever we have forgotten a few things: who we represent, about the people who we play with/against, and why we play in the first place.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things - Colossians 3:1-2
This verse helps us put things into perspective by showing us the kind of perspective we should have. We as Christians are to set our hearts on things above not of the trivial earthly things.
Sport is good. The game is fun. We want to win. But we do not want to sacrifice godliness and glorification of God in doing so. We want to set our hearts on things above or like it says in Hebrews 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.”
Our heart should be set on Jesus and our actions flow out of our heart (see Proverbs 4:23 to think more about this). It is important that we play showing godliness and good deeds because this is a way that we promote Jesus.
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us – 1 Peter 2:12
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven – Matthew 5:16
… but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive – Titus 2:10
These verses show how important the way we conduct ourselves is. We represent Jesus on the field and off the field. We want to be godly and do good deeds so it makes him look good!
If you are a sufferer of White Line Fever; the first thing to do is pray. Ask that you can bring the game into perspective by fixing your eyes on Jesus. Pray that you will conduct yourself on and off the field in a way that pleases and represents Jesus well.
The next thing is to go and do it.
Go and be intense and want to win, WITH YOUR EYES FIXED ON JESUS!
By Zac Metcalfe