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MLB Allowing Players to Shine

Published on July 14, 2017 | By

The NBA is clearly built around its biggest stars, with LeBron, Curry, Durant, and Westbrook becoming the faces of the league. When they’re playing, being interviewed, or selling a product, fans pay attention. 

Major League Baseball, on the other hand, has struggled with developing transcendent stars that help take their sport to the next level of relevance. 

Of course baseball has always had stars and great players. But, it seems that either the MLB holds the guys back from truly standing out...or the players themselves make the decision to stay back and blend in with their teammates. 

It’s an interesting dilemma because clearly fans are drawn to players who put themselves out there. Commissioner, Rob Manfred, recently made a comment that indicated he's considering what this means for his league:

“People talk about marketing the game and players becoming the face of the game. Our game is a team sport. And that means inherent limitations in terms of how big a star any individual player is going to become. It actually creates a reluctance among players, sometimes, to market themselves.”   

Barry Svrluga wrote a column in The Washington Post where he discussed how baseball's many young stars need to shine. In reference to the possibilities of two of their newest stars (Aaron Judge and Bryce Harper), he explained, “And baseball, even with those two assets, has this, too: a struggle with itself, about what it always has been and what it should be, now and going forward.” 

When thinking about baseball's struggle to allow their players to stand out and shine, there's a similar battle we can all relate to within ourselves. I’m not talking about being “superstars” who long for attention, but what it means to stand out and shine as followers of Jesus. 

Are we just blending into the rest of the world by the way we live...or can people around us see that we are a bright light in the darkness?

We need to be mindful of how Jesus working in us and through us makes us different, so that others can notice we’re set apart. 

We should be aware of our holiness, love, and grace drawing others to ourselves...and ultimately to Jesus. 

The Bible talks a lot about this and tells us in Matthew 5:16 (ESV), "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." 

Luke 8:16 (ESV) challenges us with these words: “No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light." 

Acts 13:47 (ESV) says, "For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” 

As followers of Jesus, we have to stop hiding and allow Him to shine through us. Let’s not cover up His light, but instead, bring it to the darkness which surrounds us. People are drawn to those who stand out. Today, let’s stop being reluctant to be different, and be a light that shines brightly for God’s glory. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that! 

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I pray I would stop holding back from living in a way that stands out and shines a light in the dark world. Please give me boldness and confidence to be different, and love people in a way that points them to You. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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