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Joey Votto and the Church

by on April 12, 2019

Joey Votto and the Church

Can a player get hit by a pitch and not charge the mound and empty the bullpen? Joey Votto just proved that that is possible.

He tossed the ball to the pitcher and jogged to first base. How amazing. How instructive. How convicting.

Votto is a tough competitor and is capable of contesting calls. He is a human being. He has a long history of excellence in his sport. He is an example of character to everyone who witnessed the recent event. When an event could have been exploited, he did not.

Was the hit intentional? How would anyone know?

Can the church learn from this event? People are hurt so easily. We wear our feelings on our sleeves. Any little word or event can upset us to the point of ruining our day and splitting the church.

What if the injury was not intentional? How should we respond? Can we think the best of each other? Can we toss the ball back to the one who threw it? Can we do it with no malicious intent? If not, why not?

Don’t I know how worldly counseling deals with these kinds of things? Intent no longer means anything. If I get ‘hit by your pitch’, you are going to pay. Even if it was not intentional? – what does that have to do with it? You threw the ball and I got hit. You hurt me and it is your fault. You are guilty and you pay.

Worldly counseling does not even want us to think the best of each other. Why not? Because there is so much ‘toxic’ behavior and so much ‘narcissistic’ behavior that thinking the best of each other only allows those unacceptable behaviors to continue.

There is a point where those things must be addressed and halted – granted. But the degree to which this approach is advocated has made life impossible. You can go to jail for unintended physical or emotional injury.

Votto’s response was witnessed by many – some watching the game and some on the news. I hope this stays in people’s minds for a long, long time. I hope it goes with people to church this weekend. I hope it begins to change their ideas and their behaviors in every area of life.

So many relationships are snarled and destroyed unnecessarily because of wrong responses to unintentional injury. Our society is disintegrating as we blame and empty-the-dugout in our counsel meetings and member’s meetings and our little discussions about something we think has hurt us or one of our friends.

Think of the Josephs, Deborahs, Esthers, Daniels and Apostle Paul, not to mention our Savior. If these people had responded like many do today, there would be no history to honor and emulate.

When the pitch hit Votto he had a huge amount of power in his hands and only seconds to decide how to use that power. He could start a fist flying fray or he could defuse the situation with an unexpected, understanding gesture.

How do you think the pitcher felt? He knew the potential result of his pitch. The forgiving actions of the batter could only reach his heart knowing that the possibilities were potentially destructive. Whether he knew it or not, what he experienced was grace.

What do you do when that power is in your hands? Who do you tell? What do you do? How do you feel? Who is your role model? How do you react and respond? Do you live with an attitude of forgiveness that refuses to retaliate? Do you offer grace? Those are choices we all have to make.

It is time to honor the real women and men who take the hit, toss the ball back to the pitcher and jog to first base. Mister Votto, may your example be the example for many generations. May this story be told around camp fires many years hence. May the church observe and practice your courage and character. Your example and message are long overdue.

Note: I do not watch ball games. This info came from the news and brief clips of the event. This is not to implicate fans of baseball or other sports. This is to herald and highlight behavior that should be honored and emulated.

From → Christian Living

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