Today’s Devotional Tidbit – October 7, 2005
Swinging at Bad Pitches
One of the most difficult Christian disciplines is self-control. Eating, anger, lust, television watching, shopping, drinking, and other types of addictive behaviors are curbed when a person possesses self-control. I relate this to baseball when a batter faces a pitcher. Since the baseball playoffs are taking place now, I think some baseball analogies may be appropriate for the next couple weeks.
The batter steps up to the plate. The pitcher gets the signal from the catcher, pauses, and then looks the runner back to first base. Another pause, a stare at the catcher, the windup and the pitch. Fastball down the middle, strike one! Another pitch, another quick strike. But now the count is 0 balls and 2 strikes. For some reason, there is an unwritten rule in baseball that a pitcher does not throw a strike on this ball/strike count. This batter has never been known for discipline. He’s a free swinger, always swinging at pitches outside the strike zone. He has no self-control. The pitcher stares at the catcher, he sees the sign, the catcher wants a curveball low and outside of the strike zone. Here comes the slow and winding pitch towards the plate and then it swoops way outside the strike zone; the batter swings nonetheless.
The batter did not have self-control. As Christians, when we act in a way that isn’t in accordance to God’s will, we are actually swinging at pitches outside the strike zone. I believe not having self-control in any matter, no matter how small, is outside of God’s will. When was the last time you swung at a bad pitch (exhibited no self-control)? Was it at the buffet restaurant you visited last week? Was it when your child misbehaved and you got angry? Was it when a co-worker messed up a project and your bad attitude got the better of you? Was it when you went shopping for shoes and you bought three pairs? Or was it when you sat down to watch an hour of television and stayed there for five hours?
There are so many ways we swing at pitches outside the strike zone. Let us pray for more self-control, and strive to swing only at strikes from now on. We’ll be better batters (I mean Christians) for having this discipline.