July 21 – United: Church – Romans 14

Read Romans 14:1-23

“There is no effort without error or shortcoming.”

Theodore Roosevelt, THE MAN IN THE ARENA.

Almost 10 years ago, on June 2, 2010, I watched a baseball game on TV in Comerica Park in Detroit between the Tigers and the Cleveland Indians. Maybe you remember the call by American League umpire Jim Joyce: “safe.” It was incorrect.

I will never forget it.

Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga was pitching a “perfect game” with one out to go in the ninth inning. It could be the twenty-first perfect game in Major League Baseball history.

Jason Donald of the Indians was out by half a step for what should have been the final out of a perfect game.

But the call was “safe.”

Galarraga’s reaction was so classy. He showed no visible reaction to the obvious mistake by the umpire that cost him a place in baseball history.

After the game Jim Joyce admitted he blew the call. “I just cost that kid a perfect game. I thought Donald beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay.”

The way these two men reacted and handled this situation is more significant than the game. Joyce, a respected 22 year veteran umpire, tearfully apologized to everyone, but, more importantly, to Galatraga for making a mistake. Galatraga was forgiving and completely respectful.

These men demonstrated how to behave in circumstances when things don’t go our way!

You didn’t see complaining or arguing with the other person, even though one clearly made a mistake.

They reminded me that we need to forgive, apologize, admit our mistake and move on. Can we learn from our mistakes that we make? They showed that a person can handle moments of conflict and disagreement with grace, gentleness and self control.

Avoid judging others, even if you are right. Why escalate a situation when you can bring peace?

Anytime you work with people, it is important to have thick skin because you are in a position to be criticized. It is a great opportunity to show your Christian attitude. How do you respond to personal criticism?

I am inspired by Colossians 3:23, Philippians 4:13, THE MAN IN THE ARENA and IF by Rudyard Kipling. The verses above in Romans 14 are also inspirational and helpful for living in this world as a Christian!

The Message Bible says to “. . . tend to your knitting. You’ve got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God. ” (Romans 14:12)

So treat others gently.

Tom Weckesser

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