Almost every male I know is prolific in sports statistics, team lineup names, and some other athletic-related data. If not sports, it will be something like cars or other objects, certain types of hobbies, or special skills. Whatever their preferred subject might be, you can count on them to tell you the who, what, where, why, and how of anything you want to know about it. Who won the World Series in 2016? They know. Who received the Heisman Trophy in 2007? They can tell you. In fact, they can tell you all the names, events, types, amounts, ratios, power, weight, distances, years, and so forth simply because they not only love watching or participating in their preferred avocation, they love talking about it, too! Oh, and women do the same thing – sometimes it might be sports, otherwise, it will be something in which they have a keen interest. The bottom line is, people love talking about their favorite subject or passion, so they know all the details – many, many details!
For me, I like automobile racing; every type of car racing. I remember several years ago, I was going to watch a race with some of my Christian brothers from South Florida. One was our associate preacher. He liked racing, too. We were all sitting in a restaurant, excited about the race we were traveling to see. So, we started talking about this driver and that driver, car setups, what team was in contention for the championship, which engine manufacturer was best, what kind of tires they might use, and the condition of the track. A whole lot of generally useless knowledge was being spouted by us all … except the preacher.
I finally asked him, “Brother, are we boring you or making you feel left out with all of this car racing jargon we’re throwing around?” He smiled and responded, “No. It’s all very interesting. I just don’t know all the stats, standings, and data you guys know.” I then said, “Oh. Well, don’t worry. You will pick it up eventually.” Again, he smiled and said, “No. I don’t think so. I like racing, but I much prefer to know ‘Biblical stats’ instead of racing stats. I can’t tell you who drives what car or what team is which, but I can tell you who all the Apostles are, who the prophets and kings were, name the books of the Bible, and so forth.”
I don’t know how that affected the others who heard what he said, but it felt like a gut punch to me. It made me realize just how little Bible knowledge I actually possessed at the time (this was before I decided to enter ministry). I had this mountain of sports data internalized that in reality, didn’t do anything for me except give me something to talk about with a few other people. How much more critical is having God’s word internalized in like manner? Knowing who the people are in the Bible and what they did, what lessons can be gleaned from their stories, and where to find them within those holy pages is far more critical to my soul than any sports trivia! From that day forward, I determined to start focusing on the Bible more.
So, while there is nothing wrong with having favorite sports teams, hobbies, or some other passion, is it taking up more room in your heart than God and His Word? How many of the Apostles can you name? What was the message of each of the prophets? Do you know the prophets? Which king ruled in the Northern Kingdom and which in the Southern? These are just a few of the “Bible Statistics” with which we should be filling our minds. There won’t be a test in the end, but it will certainly bless your life to know.