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The Men of Iron Minute

by Chad Zueck | Director of Content Creation

Scoreboards

America’s pastime is in the final stretch, and the 80’s riff, “Centerfield,” continues to be the theme song for the boys of Summer. Teams vying for playoff contention, baseball is very exciting this time of year. Recently, my kids and I went to a game, and as usual, we had a great time relishing the sights, smells, and sounds of the ballpark. The ballpark and some parts of the game are different now versus my youth. They don’t walk the park selling peanuts, cracker jacks, and “Cold, beer, here!” Instead, you go to the concessions and sit back down. Without fail, the experience is still memorable, and the way they keep the score is the same. This ballpark has a well-lit, engaging digital scoreboard on the field, and they have a huge, old-school paneled scoreboard that needs to be changed by hand (like in the olden days). It’s the best of both worlds. Baseball roots itself in history and celebrates its heroes. That’s baseball for you.

On this hot August day, my team started slow, going down 3-0 into the middle innings. The bats heated up from early inning embers. The fans erupted after every good play and exploded after every run. My team won with a walk-off single down the first baseline. Euphoria!

Baseball is a game. Just a game. Baseball measures their wins and losses by runs scored, and the score reflects on the scoreboard. You never have to wonder what the score is. In the Christian life, it’s good to measure our growth, but how do we do it? How can we avoid comparing ourselves to someone else and causing either envy or pride?

What’s the scoreboard for the Christian life? The question is not, “Am I saved, but now that I am saved, how can I measure my growth as a disciple of Jesus? Can I see if I am winning or, better yet, if the Spirit is winning me?

Fruit of the flesh

“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21, NLT

Fruit of the Spirit

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.” Galatians 5:22-26, NLT[1]

 

Two opposing forces, one flesh, one Spirit.

Who’s winning?

The one you’re feeding.

 

Be a mentor.

Find a mentor.

Be a better man.

 

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[1] Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Ga 5:19–26.