I’m so ready for my son’s baseball season to start! This Saturday will be his first game and I have to prepare myself for battle. Not against any team, but myself. I tend to be one of those dads that is always looking to make sure that my son has a “fair” game.
If you child plays sports, or if you have ever played in an organized league, then maybe you can relate with me. In your mind, either the coach doesn’t position his players (your kid) right, or, the umpires call the wrong pitch when the team (your kid) is up to bat.
Here’s where I have to allow the game of baseball be used as a tool for me to be Christ like as well as teach my kid the value in the wrong calls being made.
Paul writes the Thessalonian church that he is so thankful that they are displaying Christ likeness to the pagan culture around them. Even though, the community around them has been angry and agitated since the start of the church, Paul states that they are “imitators of us and of the Lord…” (1 Thess 1:6). Paul planted this church and while with them he provided an example for them to emulate. In short he was showing them who Christ was and how he wanted them to be like; even in the midst of constant persecutions and trials (1:6, 2:14). This served in them being an example to the entire region and an encouragement for the church; even us.
What then should we be displaying while attending our kids’ sporting? Simple…Christ likeness.
Our conduct during these events serves to be a witness to the parents, coaches, umpires…everyone watching the game. All too many times we assume that somehow our kid is being unfairly targeted by the coaches and officials that we just start swinging, not thinking about what pitch is coming. We are to imitate Christ to a watching world so that by God’s work in our life, we may save a few by His grace. Not preparing ourselves is like swinging at the ball with our eyes closed. Unskilled and unprepared for the game. When we as Christians play ball like that, we lose our chance to win the ultimate game, sacrificing ourselves and even the “team” for our own careers (reputation). When that happens, we lose our “imitation” of Christ, and start to look a lot like the culture around us.
OK parents, let’s go play ball and prepare to be imitators of Christ. Your kids will learn a lot from that.