So much of what we do as athletes is compare ourselves to others. We walk out on the field and immediately size up our competition. We look at how hard they throw, how they run, and how their BP looks, and we make assumptions based on their performance in comparison to ours. The other day I was watching two pitchers warm up in the bullpen. They were throwing side by side, and you could see their own pride swell up as they compared how hard they were throwing to the guy beside them. This is natural, and as athletes we are bred to think in this manner. We are constantly evaluating the performance of others, and our own performance, and hoping that our performance outweighs the performance of our competition.
While the baseball world teaches us this, the Gospel teaches us the opposite. In a spiritual sense, our works, actions, deeds, and “fruit” are ultimately worthless as we compare them to the righteousness of God and His perfection. As we place ourselves next to a holy God we are constantly reminded of how far we fall short.
Last night I was sharing with a team, talking through the Gospel and what Jesus did. I was reminded as I was reminding them, about how far I fall short, how worthless I am, how great Jesus is, and how beautiful is His perfection!
If we believe the Bible, we must believe we are “dead” (Ephesians 2:1) and ultimately are only made alive by the grace and mercy of Christ (Ephesians 2:8). As dead people compare themselves to all the other dead people around them we realize we are all dead. Death compared to death is still death. What a beautiful Savior we have that took dead things and made them alive!
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:4-9
FCA Dominican Republic
Assistant Director of Ministry