Monday, February 16, 2015
If there were ballplayer cards for Christians ...
"There's an old baseball saying, 'You are the ballplayer it says you are on the back of your baseball card.' Ballplayers, like everyone else, like to use excuses or scapegoats to mitigate the blame for their bad play. You can exaggerate the truth, you can deny or twist it around. But your baseball card tells on you. It gives your batting average, your hits, runs, and errors without elaboration or fabrication. You are the ballplayer that those statistics show you to be. There is no denying it, or shaping it into another story. The facts speak for themselves."
Imagine if there were "ballplayer cards" keeping score of our Christian walk! Would you like the facts captured on the back of it?
On more than one occasion, I've had friends who are enormously talented executives who boasted broadly about how they would like to use some of their skills they applied daily at their jobs for the sake of God's kingdom. But when given an opportunity to do just that, most of them performed far less for the kingdom of God than they do for their employers. They applied their talents in a half-hearted, sloppy way for the kingdom, arguing they would do better if they had more time, but give themselves to working after hours and weekends to perform at a level of excellence for their employers.
We commit ourselves to at least four years of education, plus ongoing education to keep our skills sharp, for our paying jobs, but complain about taking 10 minutes for a brief devotional reading each morning.
We make sure we live to the full measure of comfort we desire while claiming we "wish we had more to give."
We watch others suffer while offering to pray for them.
We know people who do not know Jesus Christ, but we do not share the Gospel with them.
Henson concluded his ballplayer card example with this ...
"Likewise, no set of excuses or scapegoating can mitigate the blame for our disobedience to the revealed will of God. We can try to exaggerate the truth, we can deny it or twist it around, but God, who keeps track of such statistics, tells on us. He knows our batting average, our hits, our strikeouts, our runs and our errors. We are the sinners that God says we are, regardless of our claims. There is no denying it, or shaping it into another story. The facts, as God declares them to be, speak for themselves."
Far too many Christians are willing to live under the potential they have as children of God. They know their followership of Christ could be much more like Christ, could be more Christ-honoring and God-glorifying, could make a greater impact for the kingdom, and could change the lives of others, but they are unwilling to live at that level of obedience, to expend that much effort, and to pay that great a cost.
But they boast they're better players than what the back of their cards record.
No they aren't.
There is no way to hide the reality of your disobedience. So here's a suggestion: Instead of searching for excuses and seeking out scapegoats, why not commit to a life surrendered in every way to Jesus Christ? Why not decide to live a life fully yielded, and purposely devoted to God?
A life lived like that might make your "card" worth collecting.