Baseball season is officially upon us & anyone who knows me is aware that I’m an avid baseball fan & supporter of the Cincinnati Reds. Like many fans, I find myself arguing balls & strikes with the umpires during every game I watch. I yell as if they can hear me & then assume they would actually value my opinion if they could hear it. We all know this is not true. It’s wishful thinking. I argue balls & strikes because they’re objective. My perspective skews my judgement but I’m almost always certain my perspective is right.
A few weeks ago I had a lengthy conversation with a pastor friend of mine & we discussed how pastors do this with theology. Many things influence our theology: Our environment. Our upbringing. Our education. Most of us realize our perspective has shaped our theology but even so, we are certain our perspective is right. Before long, we find ourselves arguing balls & strikes. We yell & assume those with differing perspectives would value our opinion if they could hear us. We all know this is not true. It’s wishful thinking.
The question ultimately becomes, is this really how God wants us to spend our time? Last time I checked, calling balls & strikes is His job, not ours (Matthew 7:1-5, John 3:17). Our job is to “train & equip” (Ephesians 4:12-13) which seems to fit the job description of a base coach more than it does an umpire. We might not have as much control as a base coach but it’s not about control it’s about humbly doing what God asked us to do. This does not include calling balls & strikes & yelling at everyone who disagrees with our strike-zone.
Humility is what the church needs & I pray many of us will begin to embrace this & leave the balls & strikes to God.