Baseball is an odd game. It’s the most individual team game there is, and yet one individual cannot win or lose a game. It’s also a game where success is a moderate surprise every time it happens, because the game is overwhelmingly about failure. Its individualism and failure can drive players and coaches into themselves, causing them to focus only on their personal goals and responsibilities, and resulting in a laser focus that isn’t always helpful.
In some cases, that laser focus makes us overlook the people around us, people God has put in our path as coaches and players. Additionally, that type of focus often makes us selfish and jealous of others, desiring only our own success, and forgetting that there is good we can do for others.
Proverbs 3:27 calls us back from that way of thinking: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”
Do not withhold good…
What good can you and I do for someone today? Coach, is there a guy who needs a spot on your team, needs a pat on the back, needs a kind word, needs to be shown that he is valuable for more than his performance on the field? Teammate, is there a coach or player who needs some reassurance that they matter to you, needs to know that you are in their corner, needs to hear something serious from you (we are all so afraid of this)? What good can you do for someone today.
…From those to whom it is due…
Our biblical “neighbors”: those in need, those in our path who God wants us to care for, someone you can do good for, even if you aren’t repaid. Good is due them.
Those who have done us no harm. Who is it that could harm you, but doesn’t? Good is due them.
Those who are on board with what you’re trying to accomplish. Coach, that’s your players, their parents, boosters, etc. Player, that’s your coaches, parents, teammates, etc. Good is due those who are helping you.
Those who have done you good. Make a list of those people and say thanks. Good is due them.
…When it is in your power to do it.
We all have some power to do good for someone else. How can I promote someone, speaking kindly of them, helping them to succeed? How can I protect someone from false accusation, from talk behind their back, and so on? How can I provide for someone, even as simple as meeting a basic need or staying late to talk? How can I praise someone for their hard work, godly character, or selfless attitude?
Take another look at the good that God has done for us in Jesus Christ. We deserved none of it, and yet he gave his life for our sins anyway. He did good out of his own deep love for us. Think deeply about how that should affect the way we do good to others. Get started today.
Lord Jesus, I’m overwhelmed at your love and grace toward me. Show me today the people you’ve given me, so that I can do good to them, just as you have done to me. Amen.