52. TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME
Checking up on our motives
“[The Lord] will … expose the motives of men’s hearts.” 1 Corinthians 4:5
Each year when baseball season rolls around again, I find myself pondering a deep question: Why during the sev- enth inning stretch do we sing the song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” if we are already at the game?
Okay. I’ll admit that’s not really a deep question. In fact, it’s silly. What I’m asking about is rather off the wall. But the process of asking why—well, that’s not strange in and of itself.
Motives—the reasons we do what we do—are not irrelevant. They are important. Jesus said to the religious leaders of His day, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Matthew 15:8). It all comes down to motive.
For instance, I can say to an athlete, “You played an awesome game.” On the surface this looks like a good thing to say, but my motive for saying it could be selfish. Rather than building someone up, I could really be trying to impress others with my “encouragement.” I could be looking for some kind of favor from the guy.
The book of Proverbs says, “All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord” (Proverbs 16:2). We should never obsess about motives, but it is important to be aware that we might not be as innocent as we think we are.
It’s good to ask ourselves why we do what we do. Questioning our motives can give us a snapshot of the condition of our heart. It’s the heart that counts to God, so what we do should be done for God’s glory—not ours. Now, that’s a fantastic motive.
FAST FACT: Jack Norworth spent 15 minutes writing the words to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” in 1908. He had never seen a base- ball game before when he wrote the lyrics.
Be open to the fact that your motives for doing some things are not as innocent as you think. Then decide how to make the needed change in motives.
From the Playbook: Read Proverbs 16:1–7.
GREAT BASEBALL GAMES
BELIEVE IT, JACK October 15, 1988, Los Angeles Dodgers 5, Oakland A’s 4—Fans watching at home had already been told not to expect anything from Kirk Gibson. His knee hurt too much. But Tommy Lasorda needed instant offense, so Gibson limped to home plate with the Dodgers trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth. One runner was on base for LA. Gibson stood in against Dennis Eckersley and hit one of the most iconic home runs in major league history, lift- ing the LA Dodgers to a victory over the Oakland A’s. It was Gibson’s only at-bat of the World Series, but it was enough to boost the Dodg- ers to a world championship. When he hit it, announcer Jack Buck proclaimed, “I don’t believe what I just saw.” He was not alone.
Taken from Power Up! All-Star Edition, © 2011 by Discovery House Publishers. Used by permission of Discovery House Publishers, Box 3566, Grand Rapids MI 4950l. All rights reserved.
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