There’s Jesus telling us not to judge, but judgment is such a basic part of being human. Baseball is full of judgments. The media illustrates that better than anything. If you’re doing well, the media says you’re great. And if you’re not doing well, the media tells you that too. They tell you you’re bad, they tell you why you’re bad, why you shouldn’t be there, why they need to trade you, and why did the GM even sign you!
Every baseball player is paid based on a judgment. I am paid based on a positive judgment and I am not paid based on a negative judgment. We’re full of these judgments. It’s a normal human thing.
You know what else it says there in Luke? It says, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6: 27-28) But that’s nearly impossible for most human beings! Do we really pray for those that hate us? There is no way we do that. There’s no way that you can look at yourself in the mirror and say, you know what, this person hates me and I just pray that he is blessed today, or I just pray that this is where she is blessed today. Face it! We do not do that.
But there’s just a little more to this. As I was studying the scriptures on judgment, I realized that every time Jesus talks about judging, He immediately talks about hope and forgiveness, and how good things happen. He says it in Luke: great things happen, pressed down, shaken, overflowing, all that stuff. Think about it: your blessings will come the less you judge!
There I was in late September, not pitching, growing angrier and more frustrated, and reading this scripture. It really hit me. I mean, I know these scriptures, and I know these things, but do I really pray for those that hate me? I don’t. It’s not a normal human thing to do. But we’re called to more, right? I prayed about this. I said, “I know it’s normal to judge, and I know it’s not normal to pray for those that hate me. But God, I am a child of the King. I am a new creature in Christ! So I have been reborn, I have been remade, my spirit now drives me, so truly, I have to strive to do these things.” And I remember walking the outfield, and praying for every guy.
And then I remembered that my team is not made up of a bunch of believers that follow this guideline. So I literally started listening. If someone judged a player or something negative was said about them, by the media or by another person, I would walk over to that player and just speak the opposite over them. I would basically give them a positive. Just randomly! And sometimes they didn’t know why I was doing it, because they didn’t hear the judgment. But that’s not why I did it. I was just trying to pray and break up judgments off of every player on our team. And if I found myself accidentally judging again, I’d ask for forgiveness.
Did blessings flow from this? Remember Game 6 of the NLCS in Philadelphia? Next time, I’ll tell you about this. See you Friday.