God and Super Bowl Sunday

By Curtis Rittenour
Posted January 27, 2015

A recent survey reveals that a staggering 26 percent of Americans believe God will play a role in the outcome of the Super Bowl. What does the Bible tell us?


Super Bowl Sunday is big—really big.

Domino’s Pizza estimates it will deliver 11 million slices of pizza to hungry viewers during the year’s biggest football game. Local businesses in Phoenix, Arizona, will rake in about $400 million from all the fans pouring into the area. The lowest going rate for a Super Bowl ticket this week is running around $4,200. And the cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad is now $3.5 million.

It might be helpful to also mention that 49.2 million cases of beer are sold on Super Bowl Sunday. The AAA auto club calls the day the “Super Bowl of drunk-driving accidents,” with an average increase of 75 percent more alcohol-related car crashes on this one day. [1]

Some commentators have suggested Super Bowl Sunday become a national holiday, and NFL executives have even asked that a three-day weekend be created for fans to celebrate the event. (After all, around 7 million people will call in sick on Monday, the day after the big game.) Others speak of it as a “holy day” for secular Americans. Plus, growing numbers of churches hold viewing parties that supposedly provide an opportunity to evangelize visitors. Many cancel their regular afternoon and evening services for the game. [2]

But … how does God view all this attention being given to the tossing of a pigskin (deflated or not)? If we used the Bible as our guide to understand the Lord instead of opinion polls, we would quickly discover that God does not think like we do. “ ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts’ ” (Isaiah 55:8, 9).

Moreover, God does not measure success like we do. When the Lord helped Samuel choose a new king for Israel, God said, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Sporting events focus on the physical strength of players. But the true measure of a man in God’s eyes has little to do with whether a football team wins. The tall and strong Saul failed as a king, not because of his stature, but because of his self-focused heart. When we idolize human beings, we take our eyes off of the One who will help us win the ultimate game of life against sin.

God wants you to be on the winning team, His team. True victory is overcoming sin (see 1 Corinthians 10:13). What is the game plan in order to be on heaven’s side? Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).

Does God really have a stake in who emerges victorious at a football game? Do Christians really need to ask that question?


If you’d like a game plan for winning over temptation in your life, click here!

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