The Real Battle is Life Not Baseball

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Friday, May 21, 2010 at 2:37 AM

Josh Hamilton battles major league pitchers every day, but that battle is a minor skirmish compared to the real battle he faces every day. Many years ago Hamilton was the number one pick in all of major league baseball; he had great potential. Unfortunately his potential was squandered early in his career by an addiction to both drugs and alcohol. These addictions left him suspended from baseball, broke and at the lowest ebb a person can imagine.

Living with his grandmother, out of the game of baseball and fighting addictions Josh gave control of his life over to Christ. (That is the short story) From that moment on he moved from being a sad baseball story to a feel good comeback story. In 2008 he joined the Texas Rangers, had a great year and told his conversion story often and how God helps him overcome his struggles every day.

For the sake of this devotional forget Hamilton is a baseball player and think of him like you would the guy next to you at work or best of all yourself. We all have battles.

After the feel good story of 2008 in January of 2009, after many years of being sober Hamilton fell off the wagon. He spent a night in a bar and got so drunk he says he cannot remember everything he did that night. We will deal with his response tomorrow; we will deal with the battle right now.

Here are some very telling thoughts from Josh in response to his relapse that were reported in the Dallas Morning News. Once again as you read forget he is a baseball player and think of your own battles:

  • He said he made the decision to see if he could handle one drink without any problems. (strike one)
  • “I wasn’t mentally fit to go in there, spiritually fit, and it just crossed my mind, can I have a drink.” (strike two)
  • Hamilton said his preseason preparations took his focus off his relationship with Christ…. (strike three)

What is your struggle? Is it a former (or current) addiction to drugs or alcohol? Do you struggle with telling the truth? What about stealing things or desiring your neighbors stuff? There is any number of battles, any number of struggles; maybe hatred, some sexual perversion, or you have a bitter and angry spirit. All battles have to be treated as such. You may have won a battle years ago but the war never ends.

Who of us can not relate to Hamilton’s struggles? Who of us can say we are never tempted? Who can say we never wonder if we can handle it “just once”?

Lessons learned to avoid the relapse:

  1. Never, ever go back! Whatever it is never put yourself in that situation or failure is just around the corner.
  2. The weaker we are spiritually the more prone we are to relapse. We never have it all together spiritually and we have never fully arrived. When we drop our guard the evil one is ready to throw a knockout punch, every time.
  3. Focus and friends are everything! Don’t think this message is just for the young, adults need to make sure their focus stays on the Lord and their friends are holding them to a higher standard. Prayer is the ultimate focus; if you are weak spiritually you can always follow the path back to a lack of prayer.

When it comes to sin we are all on the road to recovery, don’t fool yourself. Thanks to God we can overcome those sin’s that at one time had power over us.

The battle is real; to avoid a relapse, never take your eye off the prize!

Scripture: Romans 6:6-8, “Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life as nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life-no longer at sin’s every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection.” The Message by Eugene Peterson All of Romans 6 is a very good read.

Romans 8:6, “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” NIV

Romans 8:8, “Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” NIV

Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” New King James Version

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to focus on our own struggles. Seeking your help to overcome them, help us to keep a good focus on you and your love. We thank you that indeed you are the God of second chances; help us to make the best of the chances you provide and live our lives for you. We ask these things in the name of Christ, Amen.

all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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