Take a good look at who Jesus was. He never condemned anybody. He loved everybody. And He brought joy to the people He was with.
That’s what I’m trying to do as a believer in baseball. I want to be a different kind of baseball player. Sure I want to be a guy that makes lots of money, but not so I can have seventeen houses and six yachts and eighteen cars. I do it for other reasons. I want to make money because it means I can help people that need to be helped. It means I can love people and bring them joy, the way that Jesus did.
Of course, Jesus is God. He’s perfect! I don’t expect myself to be perfect. I know I’m not perfect. I know I mess up. I strive to live a life that is Christ-like, but I feel a lot like Paul did in his letter to the Romans. He said, “Why do I always do the things I don’t want to do, and the things I want to do, I don’t do? Because there’s a battle living inside of me and it’s called sin.” (see Romans 7:15-25)
That’s me, doing the things I don’t want to do, and not doing the things I want to do. But I also live by Paul’s words in Romans 8: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives you life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (8:1-2)
Who can free me from sin? Only Jesus! He’s the Savior of my life. There is no condemnation now that I have Him. I mess up, but I don’t live in condemnation. In my spirituality and in my understanding of who God is, I am truly repentant and I ask for forgiveness. I’m like David. I want to tear my clothes. I want to say, “I’m sorry. I’m trying to live my life the way that You’ve asked me to, and I messed it up. But I’m very sorry. Help me and guide me. Help me to hear You and not be in my own selfish thoughts.”
Because of his repentant heart, David gets called “a man after God’s own heart.” (1 Samuel 13:14 and Acts 13:22) That’s what I strive to be: a man after God’s own heart. And I try to encourage others to be that way. As an athlete, as a believer in baseball, I’m trying to be a man after God’s own heart. In my circle, when people look to me, that’s what I want them to see. I don’t want them to see someone who’s working for their salvation. No, no. I want them to see someone who says, “You know what? Because I am saved, my works will represent who I am.”
That’s what I’m about, and I that’s what I’m trying to get young people to be about. What you do in life will represent Christ because of who you are. Whatever your giftings are, whatever your talents are, you represent Him. Be a believer after God’s own heart.