What is the greatest thing in sports? Is it championships? Records? Honors? In the Palestra, the University of Pennsylvania basketball arena, a plaque offers a different perspective on the greatest thing in sports. It reads: “To win the game is great. To play the game is greater. But to love the game is the greatest of all.” This is a refreshing reminder that sports are, after all, just the games we played with joy as kids.
A religious leader once asked Jesus about greatness: “Which is the great commandment?” (Matt. 22:36). Jesus responded by challenging that leader to love—love God and love others. Jesus said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matt. 22:37-39).
Whatever else our faith in Christ compels us to do, there is nothing greater we can do than to show our love—for love reveals the heart of our holy heavenly Father. After all, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). It’s easy to be sidetracked by lesser things, but our focus must remain on the greatest thing—loving our God. That in turn enables us to love one another. There’s nothing greater.