Think back to your youth league experience with your teammates. Play. Chew gum. Get a snow cone after the game. Then goof around some more until your parents made you leave.

For those in it or past it, consider your high school playing experience. Long hours of practice, some of which was productive, most of which was just downtime. Traveling on a school bus to away games, listening to music played by the self-appointed team DJ. Walking in to an opposing park, trying to look intimidating together. Celebrating wins. Bemoaning losses. Taking post-game speeches from the coach, while you tried not to laugh at that teammate across the locker room.

For the most part, the guys you played youth league and high school ball against were from the same area as you and a common loyalty resulted.

It’s not that way after high school. Everyone is from somewhere different. Not everyone knows or cares about your story and where you’re from. It’s harder to have good teammates after high school. Loyalty isn’t a given anymore.

The same is true in life, as always. Once you get past your childhood and teenage years, good friends are few and far between. Loyalty is hard to find and hard to give. But, it’s still vitally important. In fact, it’s loyalty that makes a good teammate in sports and life.

Proverbs 20:6–“Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, but who can find a trustworthy man?”

There is it. Good teammates are loyal and trustworthy. It’s a two-way street. You need those kinds of people in your life, people who love you, have your back, and will tell you the truth. And, you also need to be that kind of person for others. Trust me, being that kind of friend to someone is both rare and shocking.

If you’re struggling to find or be that kind of teammate, look to Jesus. He’s that for you, he was that for others, and he will enable you to be the same.

Lord Jesus, make me a great teammate, both in baseball and in life. Thank you for your loyalty to me, even in my sin and disloyalty to you. Make me more like you every day. Amen.