Understanding this should have a profound influence on how we view our bodies and on how we use them. A fit, trained body can and should bring glory to God. Equally we cannot deny that there have been many abuses of the body in the name of sports. Drugs, doping, playing through serious injury have left many retired athletes physically wrecked. Others have seen their career ended by a reckless play by an opponent.
Paul drew a parallel between the athlete and the Christian in 1 Corinthians. "I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize" 1 Corinthians 9:24. The 100 metres gold medal at the Olympics is decided in less than 10 seconds. But how many hours of "beating their bodies" will the medalists’ have spent in the previous 4 years, how much iron pumped, how many reps completed in the gym?
As athletes, regardless of our level of play, we must thank God for our body. We are obliged to work hard to get it in shape. We must also remember that it is the temple of the Holy Spirit and keep that in focus and our sport in perspective.