Unless you ignore sports, you’ve probably heard that Patrick Mahomes signed a 10-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs worth $477 million (which can reach up to $503 million) with a $141.48 million injury guarantee.
Mahomes is the first player in league history to win league and Super Bowl MVP honors before his 25th birthday. Who knows how much he’ll make from jersey sales, etc.?
Mahomes and many other professional athletes are wealthy, some would say filthy rich, because they are adored or even worshipped by the masses.
Worship is defined as reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power, a form of religious practice with its creed and ritual, and extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem. Mahomes appears to qualify for worship based on the latter part of that definition.
In society, we worship many things. Some worship the almighty dollar. Others worship food, beauty, sports, entertainment, comfort, our phones, security, power, prestige, our health, religion. The list goes on and on.
Avid sports fans frequently worship their teams, athletes, and coaches with unabashed enthusiasm.
In the book “gods at war,” Kyle Idleman shares that his youngest daughter wanted nothing more than to go to a Colts football game in Indianapolis. That year, her main Christmas present was a pair of Colts tickets, wrapped up in a Peyton Manning jersey.
Since she was only 10 at the time, her dad, a huge sports fan, was willing to make the sacrifice and take her.
Kyle and his daughter drove up on Saturday evening for the Sunday afternoon game. They got up early on Sunday and went to a local church. His daughter begged her dad to let her wear her Peyton Manning jersey to the worship service, but he told her that people wouldn’t be wearing Colts gear to church.
Was he ever wrong!
Sitting in the back, his daughter counted 37 people wearing Peyton Manning jerseys. Two people had their faces painted.
A few hours later, Kyle and his daughter were among the 80,000 fans in Lucas Oil Stadium having a great time cheering until they lost their voices.
Kyle writes, “But on the drive home, as my exhausted daughter slept, I couldn’t help but think about the fact that I had really attended two worship services that day. The question I was asking myself was, ‘Which one was I most passionate about?’”
Charles S. Prebish, a professor of religious studies at Pennsylvania State University, doesn’t think our passion for sports and entertainment is like a religion. He flat-out says it is: “America’s newest and fastest-growing religion, far outdistancing whatever is in second place.”
It has been said that our greatest rebellion against God is that we have chosen to not worship him. Romans 1:23-25 describes man as “exchanging glory of the immortal God” and “worshipping the creature rather than the Creator.”
John Stott said: “True worship is the highest and noblest activity of which man, by the grace of God, is capable.”
Perhaps the following explanation of worship from thetravelingteam.org website will help: “Worship is important because it is what we are made for. Cheetahs are made to run, stars made to shine, and people are made to worship … God designed mankind to worship. We do it naturally, instinctively. In fact, our lives are characterized by what or who we worship.”
The article went on to say: “Heaven is going to be one big multicultural family worshipping the Father! In Heaven, we find the broadness of worship as every cultural family is present, and we see the narrowness of worship, as all glory and praise ascends to God alone.
“Friends, seek true worship because it is what we find in Heaven – it is what God has designed us to do forever and ever!”
Two of the Ten Commandments are “You must not have any other god but me;” and “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind … or worship them …”
There’s also truth in Matthew 6:21 when Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.“
The question for people of faith is, are we guilty of worshiping other things more than God?