Pushing Too Hard?

My son is playing baseball this Fall. He’s only 8 years old playing with other 7 and 8 year old boys, and I am always amazed at how competitive many of the parents get. They scream at their kids when they make a mistake, tell them to play through the pain, and throw sportsmanship out the window for the sake of “winning”.

Having played baseball since I was 7 years old myself, I have seen many boys stop playing the game not because they lost interest but because they lost the ability to play the game anymore.

The most memorable moment was learning that a 12-year old boy was scheduled to have his 2nd rotator cuff surgery while his parents pushed him to pitch in every game. His best friend, also 12-years old at the time, was seeing a physical therapist on a regular basis for a similar problem. His dad was the head coach, and even though their teams had winning little league records it came at the price of at least two shortened careers and a lot of medical bills. Why? Who was dad trying to impress?

It left me to wonder. Do we sometimes push new Christians too hard? Once someone’s been saved, we send them to a small group, bible study groups, mission trips, retreats, and set standards as if we’re bringing back the Law of Moses on clay tablets. People get burned out and fall away from their faith.

In many respects, I find new Christians to be like little leaguers. They need to be coached in the fundamentals of their spiritual walk. Now that they have received Christ, try to pray consistently and often, and pray every day. Get to know God’s word through reading the Bible every day. Guys, the New Testament makes a great bathroom read. Come to worship every Sunday and have regular fellowship and share your testimonies with others. Without these basic elements in one’s spiritual walk with Christ, it will be too easy to fall by the wayside in the busyness of ministry.

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