It’s the same at every level of amateur baseball. If you hang around a practice long enough, you’ll see the teams that are purely recreational and the teams that have more in mind than just “fun.”

Unfortunately, for the purely recreational teams, there can be a natural devolution into silliness and what the Bible calls folly. Sometimes, of course, it’s innocent, like kids playing in the dirt during a tee ball game. Sometimes, however, it’s destructive, like young people who aren’t held to a high standard of behavior and thus never learn to do anything but what they want to do.

Proverbs 5:23 gives the foundation for every team and every life–“He will die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.”

“He” here is a son who doesn’t listen to what his father says, who simply does what he wants, who approaches everything in a recreational manner.

Every quality coach knows that, from tee ball to college, teams must have an expectation that players will pay attention, try new things, not make the same mistakes without attempting a correction, and enjoy getting better at the game.

Why is it that what we expect from people on a team is not always expected from them in life?

We would never simply let players do whatever they want, just making up the game as they go along…why do we believe something far more important–life–can be done with personal preference as our guide?

We know that kids who don’t receive good instruction in baseball will not get better, will therefore not have as much fun, and will ultimately get bored and quit. Yet, why are we so reluctant to give good instruction to our players about their lives?

It can’t be avoided, this verse from Proverbs. Those who are given no instruction, who don’t receive it, are set up to “die” for that lack.

You might not be able to “preach” to your team, but every player and coach can provide instruction that points to the truth found in Scripture, both in how you live and what you say.

Let’s provide instruction that lasts far beyond the field.

Lord Jesus, use me to help people see their need for you and your instruction. Amen.