Changed: Josh Hamilton Reflections

9:49 AMHeather

This morning, my oldest and I were discussing Josh Hamilton.  Interestingly enough, Collin began reading the book Beyond Belief about Josh Hamilton's life about ten days ago.  I was curious on Collin's take on the recent media coverage about Mr. Hamilton's relapse.  Being the man of oh-so-many-words that he is, Collin's response was "I dunno."  (Fellow 6 ways book club moms--I was trying for a moment of connection!)

Josh Hamilton's life is actually a vivid picture of a changed man of faith--particularly in this last week.  Some might beg to differ, in light of his recent relapse.  But, I say otherwise.  Honestly, in his hay day partying days, would he ever dare to step up in blinding camera lights and go so far as to painfully admit and take full responsibility for a night of drinking, saying it was wrong?  I'd venture to guess he'd have seen nothing wrong with his actions, justifying even what most would have deemed bad behavior.  

Here's the truth about an intimate, growing walk with God.  It changes you.  It changes your heart and your response and your perspective of bad, good or excellence.  It brings humility and a sense of a higher calling.  Does it always change our behavior?  Unfortunately, no.  For those who are so quick to criticize Josh for his poor choices last week, let me issue this challenge.  Consider your biggest temptation, hardest habit to break, that thing that you constantly wrestle in your flesh nature with the Spirit's calling.  Now, do you NEVER struggle or give in to it?  Would YOU be so bold as to step into public scrutiny and look the cameras in the face to say humbly, "I messed up.  I gossiped today.  I take full responsibility.  I wasn't submitting to the Lord's call for excellence."  Or, how about, "I admit that I was critical...or quick to anger...or self-absorbed."  Really?  Would you be so convicted and bent on choosing God's best that you'd get public about your private sins?  Would you be so disgusted by your choice for mediocrity that you'd even stand at a microphone in front of your church and admit your faults and commitment to right them for God's glory?

Glimpse of grace:  Let me tell you who Josh Hamilton reminds me of.  None other than Moses.  Yep, that baby from the bushes, the one who walked in between the Red Sea.  When God first called him through the burning bush, Moses was full of excuses.  "Who, me?" he said, "I am not a good speaker."  Fast forward from Exodus 4 to Exodus 32 and we see a completely different Moses.  After walking with God, seeing the Lord move on His behalf, witnessing God's miracles first hand, Moses gets bold and confident with Almighty God.  The people had sinned.  Yep, God's people--who were living miracles themselves having been freed from slavery and walked through a parted sea.  They relapsed.  Moses leaves them for a few days and they fall.  They make their golden calf to worship.  They forgot God's law.  

Our human nature is so quick to forget God when temptation calls.  And, the same man who once said, "God, send someone else.  Not me,"  now boldly pleads for his sinful people.  He seeks God's favor and forgiveness.  He refused to ignore the problem, instead stepping out in faith and intimately seeks his Father's favor--and even more so, God's mercy and salvation.  He went from the meek and reluctant one who the Lord sought out to the bold and confident one who sought out God.  

I don't know Josh Hamilton or honestly too many details about him.  But, from what I saw of his press conference last week, I saw a Moses moment.  Perhaps he once was a reluctant man, not so sure about following God and leaving his own way behind.  But, in that moment with cameras rolling, he was bold in proclaiming Christ and his desire for obedience.  He was seeking God's favor through his confession--not seeking man's favor or approval.  I don't know about you, but I want to be a person who is so changed by walking with the Lord that I never settle for the world's way.  That I would openly, with great humility say nothing less than God's very best is enough for me.  I want to shrug off mediocrity, pressing in to my God to plead with him to save me from myself that I might choose His higher ways. 

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