This is the 23rd installment in my series on Christian Baseball Players. Today, we check out the story of Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts.
|Brian Roberts website|
I have been a fan of Brian Roberts for several years – even before I knew that we shared faith in God. And so it was kind of disappointing to hear his name mentioned among the rumored Steroid users in the Mitchell Report. I thought to myself – how dare he. By this time, I knew that he was a Christ-follower. You can read this article from his website that talks about his involvement with Fellowship of Christian Athletes . And so I wondered how he could be into the cheating scene. Several lessons have since surfaced as I considered the story and my reaction to it.
First, I must admit that I had great admiration about how he handled his name’s appearance in the report. He quickly admitted that he did indeed, on one occasion, use steroids. You can read his admission here from the Baltimore Sun’s coverage. You can also read his testimony and how he sees being a role model in this article from Cornerstone Connection Christian Magazine. He says that he did it, and knew right away that it was wrong. He is humble, genuine and up front with his story – not appearing to hide anything. He admitted fault, asked for forgiveness and pledged that it would not happen again.
Here is my first lesson. As a Christian, I need to have this same kind of attitude about sin in my life. To be up front about it, not trying to hide anything (since God knows everything anyway) Like Roberts, we must be humble and ready to admit our wrong doing and pledge that it will not happen again. That is what repentance means – to turn completely away from. We must admit our wrong doings to God and also be willing to confess our sins to each other as the bible instructs us to do in James 5. And the true beauty of all of this is that God forgives us, no matter what we have done, or how many times we have turned away from God to go our own way. When we confess our sins and repent the Bible tells us that God will forgive us ,
My second lesson – In this blog series, it is important that I admit to myself that I walk a very fine line. I want to commend these athletes on their stand, even in public, to follow the beliefs of their faith and let their relationship with God guide their choices and actions. But at the same time, each person that I write about here is human, and like the rest of us, are flawed people – sinners in need of a gracious Savior. We all have heros, and unfortunately, we can tend to idolize them. As we take a close look at their lives, we are reminded of their faults and that they are not to be idolized. The only hero that we need, and the only example to follow is that of Christ.
And my third and final lesson that I will share with you this time is this. As a blogger looking to share what God is doing in and through the lives of these athletes, I must be sure to include the good and the bad that they have gone through. As we see God at work in the stories of flawed people, ourselves included, we see that God is gracious, forgiving and in control. He can use the mistakes, bad choices and sin in our life to reach out to others around us as much or more as He can use our successes and victories.
So thank you Brian Roberts for your honesty, and for your willingness to be real even in the public eye.
Thank you for helping me keep perspective on my “heros” and focus my attention on following the one true example that we have – Jesus Christ!