Devotional: December 21st
Allegations of steroid abuse have permeated the sports world for a number of years now. However, the sport that seems to be having the most trouble with them is baseball. With a recent book out on the subject that points fingers at certain star baseball players and last year's round of suspensions for steroids including certain stars, baseball is awash with the issue.
Mike Schmidt, former third baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies and a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, was interviewed this past week on a segment of ESPN's Sportcenter. When asked if he would have been one who used steroids if their use had been prevalent in his era, he commented that it's all about getting "the edge." Schmidt was one of the first pro baseball players who really hit the weights hard to build his strength.
Professional sports is all about "the edge." Strength to hit it farther, throw it straighter, block stronger, run faster. Practically every sport you can imagine has had its bout with steroids and has had to suffer the consequences of scrutiny as a result of such. Those who have said that they were not using steroids have usually been found out and subjected to all sorts of sanctions and suspensions as well as fan abuse and derision.
Getting the edge is not the problem. Doing it in a way as to seem to cheat is. Enter the kingdom of God. With so many different denominations flourishing there is a seeming need for an edge in the minds of some of those congregations. Call it the quick fix, easy evangelism, whatever you want; it's becoming common place and it adds something extra to the message that I'm not sure should be there. Today's edge makes church members by the droves. But, does it makes Christians; does it make disciples?
The apostle Paul understood this issue even in the first century. "And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God." 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 Funny how God saw this coming.
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