Sports and the Pupil

Juvenile interests today are broadening to an ever-increasing extent. Perhaps this is due in large part to the broadcasting of events and information by radio and television. Sports programs, which at certain seasons of the year are broadcast daily, hold a special interest—at times almost an absorbing interest—for youth. In their rightful place, clean sports are wholesome diversion, and to the athletically-minded Sunday School pupil they afford an opportunity to cultivate traits of justice, integrity, brotherly love, tolerance, humility, loyalty to divine Principle, and so on. Occasionally, then, the teacher may draw helpful illustrations from sports activities. In so doing, however, the teacher should remember that the spiritual fact is not to be subordinated to the illustration. To give undue attention to such illustrations would tend to make an entertainment hour of the Sunday School and so mar its sacredness. Thus the children would be deprived of the privilege of cultivating a reverence for and appreciation of the divine law, which the Sunday School teaches.

Although the pupils' human interests by no means are to be barred from the class discussions, human interests should be used only to serve the teaching of the lessons and to help the pupil to apply his understanding of Christian Science in his daily living. The recitations and discussions should be free from the competition and rivalry so apparent in the world of sports, if the children are to gain a right concept of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. Competition and rivalry may stimulate an interest in learning the letter of the lessons, but they are not conducive to imbibing the spirit of Christian Science, so necessary to its demonstration. Entertainment is not a function of the Sunday School, and pupils do not need to be entertained in order to become interested in the lessons.

In her writings Mary Baker Eddy emphasizes the fact that Christian Science can only be spiritually discerned. The teacher needs to remember, then, that spiritual sense is inherent in every child, and when awakened, the child naturally responds to divine law. Hence the lessons should be taught from a spiritual plane, which will appeal to the spiritual sense of the pupil. Not only are competitive methods deterrents to the pupil in grasping the spiritual significance of the lessons, but they may encourage in the child a wrong sense of sportsmanship.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Testimony of Healing
I should like to express my deep...
April 21, 1956

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.