James 1:17 tells us that every gift is from God.
We all have different talents and God-given gifts,
but they are all important and can be used for God’s kingdom.
Well, the Soccer World Cup 2022 is well under way now. The competition is being hosted by Qatar, a surprise winner in 2010. Qatar’s culture and consequential laws in areas such as LGBTQI, Migrant Workers deaths and Human Rights, and the banning of alcohol during the matches have moved the spotlight from this world sporting event to the politics and different beliefs of others about Qatar and their culture.
But as I said the 2022 Soccer World Cup is well under way. Thousands of international soccer fans have arrived in Qatar to support their beloved country and hopefully see them hold up the trophy in another three weeks’ time.
Although soccer may not be your sport, at the moment it is difficult not to know the World Cup is happening. It is all over the news and the excitement of matches and the results is difficult not to see, after all Australia – the Socceroos are over in Qatar playing.
Soccer is a growing sport in Australia, but for the English it can be described as another religion. In many ways NRL and Aussie Rules can be described as an Australian religion.
As I am English born and born in Liverpool, one of the greatest soccer teams, certainly in the UK and Europe, I was a keen supporter of them for many years, and my dad is still a fan of Liverpool. However I changed my allegiance to the great Manchester United team, much to the dismay of my dad at the time. As both of these teams are usually near the top or at the top of the English Premier League you can well imagine the heated debates that go on in our house, and I know that this is not an isolated case, it happens over AFL and NRL teams in Australian households. Oh! what fun if the teams get to the final.
I see the Soccer World Cup as like the Olympics in many ways because it is meant to be the coming together of many nations, many beliefs, talents and differences but with the same goal – to support their country and see them win.
The Bible tells us that we are all born with distinct talents and gifts that set us apart from each other. When you discover the talents that God has given you, He wants us to share these talents and not waste them, He wants us to use them for the benefit of ourselves and others.
For four weeks players are in Qatar to play soccer. What we are seeing is players from around the world sharing their gifts and talents with us, either live at the venues or on TV. These players have talents that they have been born with, unique skills and abilities to them. Talent is set apart from knowledge in that it is not a learned behaviour, although it can be strengthened and practiced. This is what we have come to see on the pitch!
James 1:17 tells us that every gift is from God. We all have different talents and God-given gifts, but they are all important and can be used for God’s kingdom.
I hope that you get a chance to watch the matches and support your country, whichever that is. I have to admit my dad still supports England and I am split between England and Australia.
I hope and pray that the issues that have plagued Qatar in the lead-up to and during the Soccer World Cup will bring about changes in their laws that will welcome and accommodate visitors to their country with a greater understanding and tolerance. Amen.
It can all start here!