What a Loser!

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thAfter years of struggle, Ron Wright was given the opportunity every ballplayer dreams about: he was called up to the Major Leagues. Only for Ron, his big league career would be short-lived.

Over a seven-year period, Ron had logged hundreds of hours in batting practice and taken countless bus trips to minor league ballparks. Through it all, he endeavored to be the best baseball player possible.

Then one night The Call came. He was to report to the Seattle Mariners the following day. He immediately telephoned his wife and parents to share the excitement of the moment.

Wright was penciled into the starting lineup right away. A number of rookies have hit a homerun in their first at bat; Ron struck out. His next chance came in the fourth inning, with runners on first and third. Unbelievably, he hit into a triple play. Opportunity came knocking once again in the sixth inning. This time he hit into a double play. He was taken out of the game after that and sent back to the minor leagues, never to return. Unbeknownst to him, he had set a Major League baseball record. He had caused six outs in his three at bats in the majors. What a thing to be remembered for. What a loser!

I say “loser” in the sense of the world’s value system. “Playing baseball, don’t get me wrong, was what I lived for a long time,” Ron says. “But there are more important things. My wife and kids, family, things like that. It’s about perspective.”

Yes, the world will always remember Ron as a loser, but when you consider the many superstars whose lives have been marred by extreme selfishness, pride and internal misery—who is the winner and who is the loser? The fact of the matter is that the world’s value system is usually “out of left field.”

In God’s economy, failures actually play a very important role in the lives of the saints. In fact, so much good can come out of failure that I dare say it is an integral part of the believer’s overall victory. Failing isn’t the issue; dealing with it in the right way is the important thing.

The Christian life is one long war with the world, the flesh and the devil. It goes without saying that countless battles make up a war. To expect to go through a lifelong war without losses is unrealistic, even prideful. Every believer will have his setbacks—what sets the victorious believer apart from the defeated one is that when he falls down, he doesn’t stay down. He gets right back up and gets back on track!

Returning to our baseball metaphor, good managers are not concerned about a hitter’s batting average—something which can be affected by a number of uncontrollable factors. A successful manager is more interested in the batter’s footwork, the stroke of his swing, his eye and hand coordination. He knows if the ballplayer will get the fundamentals right, the batting average will take care of itself in the long run.

The Lord takes the same approach with us. “God sees not as man sees,” said Samuel; “for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) He is mostly concerned about what is going on inside of us. Are we being honest with ourselves or are we self-deceived? Are we willing to acknowledge our failings or do we look to minimize and blame-shift? Are we fighting lustful thoughts or are we regularly indulging them? Get the fundamentals of the heart right and the outward behavior will take care of itself in the long run.

I will mention one final side-note about Ron Wright: in spite of his miserable performance that evening, the Mariners went on to win the game, putting him on an elite shortlist of Major League ballplayers who hung up their cleats with an undefeated record!

And so it will be for all sincere believers. Yes, there will be many disappointing times when we can’t seem to do anything right. But when the final scorecard is filled out, the blood of Christ will assure us of an undefeated record!

 

 

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What a Loser!, 9.9 out of 10 based on 9 ratings

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About the Author:

In 1986, Steve founded Pure Life Ministries (PLM), the first ministry in the world to sexual addicts. Over the years he and his wife Kathy did their utmost to create a spiritual atmosphere for men who entered the PLM residential center. It was part of God's plan for him to begin this ministry, but over the years the Lord laid a burden on Steve's heart to call the Church back to holy living. In 2008, Steve stepped down from running PLM to devote the rest of his life to exposing the great apostasy, calling people to repentance and leading Christians into an eternal perspective. Follow Steve Gallagher on Google+
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Comments

  1. Kathy Ellis  March 2, 2014

    I watch alot of baseball. I have seen high-paid baseball celebrities strike out, hit into a triple play, and then some other play that causes an out such as a fly ball, double play, etc. And they aren’t considered “losers”. Just having a bad day. Ron Wright was being judged on his performance in one point in time. I praise God that we are not judged on our “bad day” performance only. He sees our heart’s attitude, our repentance, our determination to get back up and “sin no more”. Thank you for this encouraging article.

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    • Kathy Gallagher  March 2, 2014

      Thanks for your comments, Kathy. I am grateful also that God doesn’t judge as man judges. His judgments are just and true. I love it that God calls us back to Himself when we have failed.

      When we fail, and we will, He stands ready to pick us up, clean us up and put us back on the path of righteousness.

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  2. Greg Gordon  March 3, 2014

    “I praise God that we are not judged on our “bad day” performance only.” I second that comment. We are simply servant now in the Gospel and not being judged by our performance every minute. Though we should seek to live a life worthy of the Gospel of Christ (Eph 4:1). Excellent article brother Steve.

    “self-deceived?” that would make an excellent article many in the body of Christ including leaders try and hide every fault to give the sense of their performance is doing well but they are just batting into triple outs!

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  3. Robert Sturges  March 3, 2014

    What men think of us is of very little account. But what God thinks is all that matters. We humans have a infinite ability to deceive ourselves. We are called to devote ourselves to Gods glory and the well being of others. To die to our own pursuits and seek first Gods kingdom. But now it is so common ,to rejoice and take delight in Gods word his law and his ways , and then to withhold obedience to it. Replacing a life of obedience ,from a heart of faith for knowledge. Because I know and I agree , its the same as if I actually do Gods will, that is the deception. When I read Finney and many of the old time puritans, I noticed that they were interested in how close they could live to God, how far could they believe God for holiness. Now the church is asking, how close can I live to the world and still go to heaven? How many of these idols can I keep? But unless we make a real choice to Live for God in opposition to living for self we deceive ourselves. Love Jesus and live to please him or you live to please yourself. But it is easy to see by our daily choices what we are truly living for. A true Christian has failures but there is a real devotion and love for God that brings him back into fellowship. The backslider and unregenerate have no real intention to follow God wholly , but are continually overcome by their sin. At a Gideons meeting this week one of the officers told us that in the military they just informed the chaplains that they can no longer pray in Jesus name. We are being told we cant teach or preach that homosexuality is a abomination. Children are no longer taught creationism or the ten commandments. But as they did in the book of acts ,we can never stop declaring the truth. The eternal well-being of souls is at stake. And besides all that we cannot and will not deny our Lord and his truth. I have been led to write letters to some who are living in sin to repent and turn to the Lord , and I have been told that no one does that anymore it is to unloving. So the question is will we live to please and obey God because we love him or will we deny him , and live to please ourself and others.

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  4. john white  March 4, 2014

    Amen, Steve! What a merciful, grace-giving, PATIENT God we have! I imagine that our “getting back up” again after we’ve fallen time is what being an over-comer is all about. I’ve been studying David, a “man after God’s own heart,” and I think your teaching here applies to David – no matter how many times he fell because of his own sin or because of someone else sinning against him, he got back on his feet. Surely, this is what it means to be a person after God’s own heart. (BTW, do you know if Ron Wright knows Jesus? Just curious.)

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