This post is from Forward Progress, Michael Kelley’s blog.

Wrong.

Though some might think so.

Here’s the story. Josh Hamilton is one of the best players in baseball. He’s batting .361 with 31 homers and 97 RBIs in 130 games this season. His team, the Texas Rangers, have never won a postseason series, much less the World Series. They haven’t even been in the playoffs since 1999. So you would think that clearly one of the team’s best players and possibly an MVP candidate for the league would have celebrated with his teammates when they clinched the AL West on Sunday night.

He wasn’t. Hamilton didn’t go to the party. There was no champagne spewed in his face. No shouting and high fives. He was noticeably absent.

What a snob, right? Some kind of superstar athlete too good to even celebrate with his team? So focused on himself that he didn’t have time for his teammates?

Again, wrong.

When he was drafted in 1999, he was the number one pick out of high school and hailed as the next great player. But thanks to drugs and alcohol, he was out of baseball in 2003. But thanks to his faith, he got clean. And now he’s back.

So Sunday, he felt it was smarter for him to avoid the champagne and beer showers in the Rangers clubhouse. So he stayed in the trainer’s room, showered and kept his commitment to speak to a large fan gathering in the stadium as part of Faith Day in Oakland.

Here’s the thing. That’s a really hard decision. But Hamilton made it. He’s an addict. And he knew that though probably nothing would happen, it wasn’t going to further his pursuit of godliness and a clean life to have booze sprayed in his face. So he made the tough choice to forgo the celebration.

We should all be so self-aware.

We should make the decision to get an internet filter.

To not stay in a hotel room by ourselves.

To discontinue a “facebook friendship” that our wife or husband doesn’t know about.

To not see the movie touted as the greatest film of all time.

You get the picture. We all have our demons, but very few of us are self-aware and pro-active enough to not just plan to deny temptation, but to take active steps to not put ourselves in the way of temptation.

Josh Hamilton isn’t perfect. He fell of the wagon earlier this year. But he’s in the fight, and he knows he is. We should recognize the same.

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About Chuck Mullis

I am the husband of Valerie and the father of Russell & Hannah. I am a self-employed contractor living in rural North Carolina as well as an ordained Southern Baptist Minister serving Living Water Baptist Church.

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