The other night, I was having a conversation with my mother-in-law about her favorite professional baseball team. I admit I was making jokes about the organization and how bad they were this past season and that it takes a real fan and a lot of courage to wear that team’s shirt out in public. While this was in jest, it launched us into a conversation about a couple of professional baseball players and their attempts to sign new contracts with new teams.
These two players in particular have either forced their way out of their current situation or been non-committal to his former team about signing a new contract. They both are chasing mega contracts that are unprecedented in Major League Baseball. The irony is neither one of them is signed yet, and the season starts in less than two months. Now, I am sure they will both be signed by a team, but the question is for how much money.
On one hand, I understand that professional sports are businesses and essentially athletes are independent contract workers that represent themselves as companies. They are the commodity. They are the product. Therefore, they should pursue livelihoods and growth in their respective industry. This is not to illicit a conversation about the amount of money they make versus the money you and I might bring home, but it is appropriate to question whether what the players think they are worth is correct (in respect to their particular sport).
Many people think that something they are selling is worth a particular amount of money, and it might very well be worth that. However, I am of the camp that an item is really worth only what someone else is willing to pay for it, which may be very different than your appraisal. This illustration is best seen in relation to real estate or automobiles or selling on eBay. Recently, this worked in my favor on eBay. I listed a book for $1, and it sold for $6.50! Now, that does not happen very often.
Back to the baseball analogy, these players value themselves at a certain price range and I think it is safe to say at this point that teams are not willing to pay them that amount. All across professional sports, teams are dealing with the consequences of bad contract decisions and overpaying players. Again, this is not saying that players should not get paid, but rather they (and we) should have realistic expectations of what our value is.
It reminds me of Romans chapter 12 verse 3 when Paul writes, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”
All of Romans chapter 12 is speaking to a change of mind and heart and humility and devotion to the body of Christ (the community of believers). This one verse reminds me that I should not value myself as more important than anyone else or to think that I am not expendable in this world. God has entrusted me with certain gifts and certain tasks for His glory and His purpose, but when I begin to value myself too much or think “God couldn’t do it without me” God’s plan is deterred.
Throughout history, and even right now in 2019, human beings distract other human beings from God’s plan because we value ourselves more than we value God. Adam and Eve were tempted with this idea in the Garden of Eden – to be like God; to question God’s word and plan – and it has plagued us ever since.
These two baseball players are just an illustration of how we can value ourselves too much. I do not recommend that we should swing the pendulum the other direction to self-degradation or false humility because God has created us in His image and prepared a place in eternity for those who love Him. This is a call to have the proper perspective in relationship to God. Let us hear this message and humble ourselves before God – the Creator of heaven and Earth and the Savior of the world – and let Him be God. Anyway, I was just thinking…