Baseball is a harsh game. If you haven’t prepared well, you have no chance of performing well. You can’t hide when it’s your turn at the plate. The game will expose your flaws, weaknesses, and lack of discipline.

You reap what you sow.

While that’s true in the negative sense, it’s also true in the positive. If you prepare well, your chances of performing well increase exponentially. That turn at bat is now an opportunity, rather than certain failure.

You reap what you sow.

Proverbs 14:11 talks about this general principle–“The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish.”

You reap what you sow. On and off the field.

It might seem at first that God is harsh, just like the game can be. How can we know if we’ve sown enough good to reap eternal life?

Sadly, most of us believe there’s an actual answer to that question, that enough “good” can be done.

We read verses like this and immediately begin to try to clean up our act, to be good, whatever that means.

But what this verse should point us to two facts:

First, there are indeed consequences for our actions, both good and bad. If you and I make enough stupid decisions, things aren’t going to be good.

Second, in God’s eyes, none of us are “good” enough, which is both bad and good news. It’s bad news because all of our supposed and attempted goodness, the Bible tells us, is like a pile of filthy laundry in God’s view. It’s good news because he’s not asking us to be good enough, but only to believe fully (through repentance and complete surrender) to the only one who was and is good enough: Jesus.

God isn’t harsh. He is just, which means his holiness won’t tolerate sin. But he is equally loving, which means he gives forgiveness to sinners, so that we won’t have to reap all that we have sown. Instead, we can reap what Jesus has sown. Way better deal.

Lord Jesus, I surrender to you. Right here, right now. Take over my life. Be good because I can’t be. Amen.