The hit-by-pitch rule is really simple. If the ball thrown by the pitcher hits the batter, the batter is awarded first base. Really, it’s that simple. Until it’s not.

Each year, umpires are given various points of emphasis. One years ago was to ensure that hitters were not intentionally getting hit by pitches. For both player safety and competitive advantage points of view, such an emphasis is good. The problem is that the home plate umpire must judge whether or not the hitter is guilty.

I must admit I’m not fond of home plate umpires having bad judgment with things like this.

In a high school game years ago, I was coaching first base when the pitcher hit our batter with the ball. Rally started! Except the plate umpire had a different idea. In his mind, our hitter didn’t move away from the ball. First base denied. At-bat resumed.

Proverbs 26:17 describes what I did next–“Like one who takes a dog by the ears is he who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him” (NASB). I grabbed the dog by the ears, trotting up the first base line to let the umpire know of my displeasure with his judgment. I should have stopped at “I’m not going to listen to an assistant coach,” but I didn’t (or wouldn’t or couldn’t).

“You’re ridiculous and horrible,” said the mouthy first base coach. “You’re gone,” said the guy in charge.

I spent the rest of the game somewhere else.

Here’s the point. The argument to be made was the responsibility of the head coach…it was, because of my position, none of my business. Yet, I made it my business and paid for it.

With whom or in what situations are you grabbing the dog by the ears? It’s not smart. He bites back. Just because you are right doesn’t justify meddling in something that’s none of your business. Be wise with the dog and don’t grab his ears.

Here’s a prayer:

Lord Jesus, give me the patience and humility needed to mind my own business. I want to be a godly influence, but not someone who gets involved in things that don’t need my involvement! Please make me wise. Amen.