Sadness: Lost Soccer Matches Or Lost Souls?

It is always an amazing experience to watch the World Cup every 4 years – especially when your team wins. But when they lose. . .oh the sadness!

Just look at some of the images of fans as their teams suffered losses:

A Spain supporter cries as she watches the team's 2014 World Cup Group B soccer match against Netherlands on a giant screen at a fan park in Madrid
(a Spain supporter cries as she watches the team’s loss in the recent World Cup match against Netherlands)

Greek fans react as they watch a live broadcast of Greece's 2014 World Cup soccer match against Costa Rica, in Athens
(stunned Greek fans watch a live broadcast of Greece’s 2014 World Cup loss against Costa Rica)

South Korean soccer fans react as they watch live TV broadcast of 2014 World Cup Group H soccer match against Algeria, in Seoul
(South Korean fans are dismayed as they watch a live TV broadcast of their World Cup loss against Algeria)

Fans of Chile react after their team loses against Brazil during World Cup screening in downtown Santiago
(a disheartened fan of Chile sheds tears after his team loses to Brazil and is eliminated from the 2014 World Cup)

A Mexican soccer fan reacts after the 2014 World Cup soccer match between Mexico and Netherland during a public viewing in the Zocalo square in downtown Mexico City
(a Mexican soccer fan sits dejectedly after Mexico’s 2014 World Cup soccer loss to Netherlands on June 29th)

Real sadness over the loss of a futbol – soccer – match. Fans who are:


Recently I talked to a follower of Jesus about his sadness years ago whenever his favorite sports team lost a game. He said one day he heard the voice of God say to him, “You are more sad over a lost game than a lost soul.” He vowed that he would never again allow himself to be sad more than 5 minutes after a loss by his team. He vowed to moved by lost souls.

Some time ago, a Muslim friend from the Middle East shared about his sadness when he walked by a restaurant here in America and saw all the people inside eating and drinking. He said to a friend, “Mohammed, all these people, going to the hellfire.” I was struck by his passion – and compassion – for the eternal destiny of people. He was genuinely sad over – what he regarded to be – lost souls.

What about you? What about me?

As your team wins or loses in this great World Cup action, what matters to you more?

What brings greater sadness to your heart?

Lost soccer matches. . .or lost souls?

(Postscript: this particular post is not about what criteria determines whether someone is “lost” or not. It is simply a question for all of us: if you believe people walking the earth today are spiritually lost and are in real danger of hellfire, do you care? Does it make you feel sad? Are you doing anything about it?)

3 thoughts on “Sadness: Lost Soccer Matches Or Lost Souls?

  1. I weep for people….but I understand it is their choice. We can choose to love or choose to do evil. What’s strange is how people willingly do evil, know they are doing evil…then try to justify it! I think if talking about shortcomings was more socially acceptable, (and pointing out, hey that’s bad) people would be more open to challenging personal failures instead of making excuses. (And sorry for poor grammar).

  2. When I was in high school, the Lord convicted me that I found too much joy in sarcasm. I was deadly cruel with my sarcasm. Because of the depth of my sin, I had to get rid of a pile of comic books so that I would not be tempted to rejoice in injustice, but would be encouraged to rejoice in the truth. Still my heart is wayward and too often I return reviling for reviliing, unlike Jesus. For years I played games and read works of fiction in order to entertain myself, but, Mark, you have come to the same conclusion I have:

    There is a Reality in our Lord that is deserving of worship. Sadly, we still too often obsess with our mud pies with the Lord offers us a piece of mutton.

    Oh that we would behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!

    Instead, we gaze at our navels and try to calculate how to sneak by or find fault with one another rather than finding ways to fix our gaze upon God.

  3. This reminds me of a documentary called “Sacred Science” on the healing plants, and shamans who work with them, of Peru. There was a young boy, maybe 15 or 16 who was training to be a Shaman. You could tell he was just “balanced”, “In tune”, “connected”, caring. He says at one point (with obvious sadness) that he has chosen his path because he sees so many young kids in his country who are lost, and he wants to help them and any who are lost.

    I don’t know about hellfire, but I am “with” you and this aspiring shaman in thinking that too many people are lost, and to do what I can to help people find peace, balance, connections, attunement… with themselves, Life, others, the earth.

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