May 18, 2012

Josh Hamilton, Relapse, and the Means of Grace

 

In case you missed it, Texas Ranger Josh Hamilton hit four home runs in one game last week.

In case you don't know baseball, that's a big deal. Only 15 other players in Major League history have accomplished the feat.

But what's impressive about Hamilton is that it's not just one good game. It's now several outstanding seasons, and an unusual career. An unashamed evangelical, Hamilton is one of the more amazing sports stories of our time as he has recovered from drug addiction and alcoholism, with God's help, to become one of the game's elite players. Not only is he a four-time All-Star, and the 2010 Most Valuable Player, but he currently leads the American League in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in.

ESPN's Pardon the Interruption interviewed Hamilton the day after his four-home-run performance, and in the course of the interview, he was asked about his recent "relapse" (he admitted in February to consuming 2 or 3 drinks at a bar in Dallas). Hamilton responded with depth and authenticity about his faith and that he's been learning to evaluate the weeks and months that lead up to temptations to relapse. In particular, he says he's learned to ask, "Did I stop praying? Did I stop getting into the Word? Did I stop fellowshipping and allowing people who care for me into my circle?"

What he's talking about are the so-called "means of grace." In fact, John Frame (who explains the means of grace as "certain channels by which God gives spiritual power to his church") categorizes the various Christian means of grace under the three precise headings Hamilton mentions: Word, prayer, and fellowship.

So how do we Christians, recovering sinners as we are, avoid relapse, grow in our faith, and continue to avail ourselves of the grace of God for everyday life? Here's Frame:

Without God’s grace, we are lost. And we need God’s grace not only at the beginning of the Christian life but throughout. So, naturally we ask, where can we go to find God’s continuing grace to us? Where do we go to get the resources for sanctification, for continuing spiritual growth? The short answer is that there are three places: the Word, fellowship, and prayer.

Except for the second, we can find those resources either privately or publicly. The second, fellowship, is by definition public. But we can receive the Word either by individual Bible study or through the public preaching and teaching of the church. And we can pray, of course, either privately or publicly. In our private use of the means of grace, we come to God as members of the church, the body of Christ. Apart from Christ, our Bible study and prayer will not help us. Indeed, we need other members of the church to help us understand the Bible and to teach us how to pray. So, in an important sense, even the private means of grace are within the church. . . .

It is not typical in Reformed theology to regard fellowship as a means of grace. But I think it clearly is. Remember all the passages . . . on one-anothering? Those make it plain that our spiritual health depends on one another — both what other believers do for us and what we do for them. The larger concept that includes all those one-anotherings is the concept of fellowship.*

This is the stuff of healthy Christianity — for superstars and unknowns alike. The ground is level at the cross, not just at conversion, but for everyday spiritual wherewithal. We're all invited to avail ourselves daily of God's means of grace in the Word, prayer, and fellowship.

________________

* John M. Frame, Salvation Belongs to the Lord (P&R, 2006), 260–261.

The following article was originally posted on http://www.desiringgod.org Reposted with permission.

Originally Published: May 18, 2012
Category: Sports and Recreation
Sign Up Today. Membership is free

Public Stream

  • user-avatar
    Lane Baxter > Mission Writers
    I am new to Christian writing and would appreciate any thoughts about this. Ex. How do you keep yourself motivated, handling so called dry days. How you approach the editing process. Any writing hint or tips that you have found work for you. Also like to hear about God's leading as you write. This is the most exciting part of Christian writing. Your input will be very much appreciated.
  • user-avatar
    Myron Dafoe III uploaded a photo
  • user-avatar
    Myron Dafoe III created a new gallery
  • user-avatar
    Lane Baxter
    Do not solicit me for my personal email. I came her to fellowship concerning my faith in Jesus Christ. So far I have seen none of this, just lots of pushing books and products. Also plenty of people I know nothing about asking to contact me personally. Why would you do this unless you are trying to solicit me to purchase products or ask me personal information, which of course I would never give out. What kind if site is this anyway?
  • user-avatar
    Myron Dafoe III just moved in. Take time to say hey.
  • user-avatar
    Lane Baxter
    Why is everyone wanting to contact me personally? This is really making me feel uncomfortable. I just want want to enjoy communicating on my wall. Do you want to solicit me. I'm starting to wonder if this the reason there are so few people posting on this site. If you want to tell me something I will be glad to read it on my wall and respond there. If you want personal information from me, it should be obvious that I would not give it to anyone I don't know.
  • user-avatar
    Janet Ridgeway published the blogpost Saturday Spotlight 4/19/14.
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
    Greg Flagg published the blogpost Prayer for Holy Saturday.
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
    Amanda S. published the blogpost Signs of Spring.
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
    Mary Spitzer published the blogpost Mark 9:31.
  • user-avatar
    Bronwyn Lea published the blogpost Pick of the Clicks 4/19/14.
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
    Mike Liebler published the blogpost Lent Questions Day 39.
  • user-avatar
    Dave Dunham published the blogpost This Week’s Good Reads.
  • user-avatar
    Dylan Brobst published the blogpost Seeing But Not Believing.
  • user-avatar
    Dave Dunham published the blogpost Small Intimacies.
  • user-avatar
    Cathy Bryant published the blogpost Everyday Hero Sandra Stiles.
  • user-avatar
    Sandra Glahn published the blogpost Silent Saturday.
  • user-avatar
    Leeanne Burda published the blogpost Easter.
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
    Chris Lautsbaugh published the blogpost Life WITH God.
  • user-avatar
    Whitt Madden published the blogpost Renew: Influence.
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
    Jeff Randleman published the blogpost The Delicacy Of An Idea.
  • user-avatar
    Kendall Lyons published the blogpost “The Dumbest Idea Ever”.
  • user-avatar
    Sean-Joseph Choo published the blogpost The Way of Creativity.
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
    Adam Smith published the blogpost How to Get Over the Wall.
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
    Chelsea Maxwell published the blogpost Why??.
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
  • user-avatar
    George Krickl published the blogpost Stillness of the Soul.
  • user-avatar
    Mandy Tan just moved in. Take time to say hey.
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Jordan Steel
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > shelly Varas
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > cody kieffer
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > mark horner
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Jessica Peterson
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > randall brewer
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Jose Munoz
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Cephas Makombe
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Ashley Osbourne
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Kara Peterson
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Portia Suber
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Joshua Gilbert
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Sherilyn Ross
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Ferrell Hardison
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Taylor W
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Ira Browne
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Rebecca Alderman
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Mary Lou McGill
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Erik Stone
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Lisa Lineberg
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Larry Poole
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Zanele Ndlovu
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Elizabeth Moser
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Deanna Mason
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Shannon Kelley
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Sharon Johnston
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Wayne Scali
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Tivea Jefferson
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    Dorothy Greco uploaded a photo
  • user-avatar
    Dorothy Greco created a new gallery
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Billy Poe
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Thomas Taylor
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Marnie Blackstone
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Sarah Frase
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Shirley Archer N.D.
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Jessica Applegate
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Shannon Gianotti
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > Aimee Larson
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
  • user-avatar
    maryen sule > john stewart
    Nice to meet you,
    I am Miss Maryen I am very happy to see your profile today,
    it was so interested i will like to have a relationship with you.
    Also i have something to disclose with you personally,
    please try to contact me direct to my private email, ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )
    to enable me introduce myself to you with my photos,
    God bless you? reply me at ( maryensule123@hotmail.com )