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ACSI Philosophy of Sports

The focus of ACSI sports is on skill and Christian character development, not winning! Naturally, winning is important to the athletes, but it is not to be our main goal.

In formulating a philosophy that is Christian, Colossians Chapter 3 is helpful:

1,2 “Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your heart on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set you mind on things above, not on earthly things.”
8 “But now you must rid yourself of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”
12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
14 “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for man.”

Basically, our philosophy must set us apart from the common world view, reflect a new man, and emphasize that sports is not exempt from the principle that “all things in our life must be done in the name of Jesus and reflect Him.”

Our sports program must be an extension of our Christian walk. In satisfying our own personal need to achieve, we must not compromise God’s will for us. In this way, “victory” is distinct from “winning” 100% of the time. We must give “victory” a solid priority over “winning.” The negative results of the world’s emphasis on winning are well known.

In looking at “victory” there are many possible factors. For example:
love for the opponent
     ● respect for officials and coaches
     ● loyalty to team
     ● self-control
     ● using circumstances to witness
     ● team cooperation
     ● putting others before myself
     ● encouragement and exhortation of team members (not personal success)

The outward flow of the previous factors is important and always necessary. Physical effort, mental toughness and alertness, joy of effort, demonstrating a mastery of physical skills and improvement in performance are other important factors. These should be specific objectives for anyone entering a sports event. “Winning” is merely one possible outcome which may or may not accompany “victory.” Winning in and of itself is not enough – it is defeat!
If the Lord were to choose a champion, merely winning a game or tournament would not be a requirement. Developing a consistent Christian character would be. That must be the goal of all of our ACSI sports events.