Man, I would love to see a good baseball game. My wife and I are huge fans. We have tickets to ten games with our neighbors to see the Texas Rangers that are totally worthless because of COVID-19. To boot, we had tickets to the very first official game in our new indoor stadium (Globe Life Field). What a great place to watch a game, and we had great seats!
One of the things that I do with my love of baseball is to use it as a mnemonic to help me memorize the nine fruit of the Spirit. There nine baseball positions and there are nine characteristics that make up the fruit of the Spirit. I believe it is essential for us to commit to memory the nine Holy Spirit “players.” If not, they are simply left written on the Biblical page without impacting our lives daily.
Below is the Fruit of Spirit lineup:
- The catcher is “love.” Agape love is a great catcher in life. With agape love, we can catch any “fastball” or “curveball” thrown at us in life even if the pitcher throws the wrong or a wild pitch. Plus, a good catcher is a good leader and a good game manager in the heat of competition. Nothing else is better in everyday life than to have agape love as your leader and game manager.
- The 1st baseman is “joy.” The Bible says in Nehemiah 4:10 that the “joy of the Lord is your strength.” Philippians 4:4 tells us to “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” There is no better player to play 1st base than “joy.”
- Peace is our 2nd baseman. 2nd base is in the middle of the baseball diamond (or field). It is always great to have peace in the middle of all that goes on in our lives. Colossians 3:15 says for us to “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.” Believe it or not, the word “rule” in Greek is the word that originates our word, “umpire.” “Peace” should be the umpire in our life guiding us to recognize what is “out” and what is “safe.”
- Patience plays 3rd base. On a baseball diamond, the 3rd baseman is the most vulnerable player. The 3rd baseman is positioned closer to the batter than any other player. When the batter “turns on the ball” and hits it toward 3rd base, it is usually a “screamer” (hit extremely hard). Many times, the 3rd baseman has to play up close to the batter to guard against a bunt which places him in a frightful position. There is no better player for this position than “patience.”
Playing the next four positions all come from the same baseball family, the “Ness” boys.
- Shortstop is played by “Kindness.” Shortstop is usually one of the most athletic players and is often in the Bible coupled to “patience” who is our 3rd baseman. In 1 Corinthians 13:4, the characteristics of love begin with “patience and kindness.” There is no better player in life than to have patience and kindness participating together.
- The three outfield positions are played by “Goodness, Faithfulness and Gentleness.” What an outfield that is!
- Pitching of course is “Self-Control.” Great pitching always starts with control. The pitcher must have the ability to make a pitch to the best location to keep the batter from pounding the ball. Likewise, in life, our speech and actions cannot be out of control. A good pitcher does not get rattled especially when the game gets tense. For sure, he cannot be “other” control allowing someone else to impact his performance. He has to stay under control. In our marriages, with our kids, at work, dealing with folks who enjoy “yanking our chains”, and in fearful situations the best pitcher always is “self-control.”
So, this is the “Fruit of the Spirit” lineup. Memorize them, allow them to marinate in your heart, and play the game of life with these nine players guiding you.