The Courage to Say: I Need Help

Bronx, New York 9/25/15 CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees reacts on the mound after Melky Cabrera #53 of the Chicago White Sox scores on Alexei Ramirez RBI double during the second inning in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium on September 25, 2015 (Paul J. Bereswill)

When you combine his 6’7” dominating physique with his left arm that chucks a baseball with the heat and intensity of a flamethrower, CC Sabathia can be an intimidating presence.  This fierce competitor with the heart of a champion made a public statement yesterday admitting he’s  been beaten.

Sabathia will not be going on the injured reserve list, he will be going into a treatment program for alcohol rehabilitation.  Sabathia said:

“I love baseball and I love my teammates like brothers, and I am also fully aware that I am leaving at a time when we should all be coming together for one last push toward the World Series . . . It hurts me deeply to do this now, but I owe it to myself and to my family to get myself right. I want to take control of my disease, and I want to be a better man, father and player.”

Kudos to Sabathia for being honest with himself, so he can be truthful with others.  He’s not alone in this battle.  As many as 1 in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or an alcohol related problem.

If you find yourself in a situation similar to the one that CC Sabathia is facing, I encourage you to take three immediate steps:

  • Resolve to make the necessary changes.
  • Assess your peer group: Are they good friends who have your best interests at heart or are they just drinking buddies?
  • It is highly unlikely that you can whip this on your own, so seek professional help.

For those who are on the outside looking in, I remind you of the words of Paul:  “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).”  When your friend or family member asks for help, be willing to listen and to encourage him and he takes the first steps towards sobriety.

Study to Show: A Lesson on Diligence

shhhhh-quiet-everyone-study-wallpaperAs I was studying last night, my focus turned to 2 Timothy 2:15: “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (KJV).”

The verse begins with the word “study,” and it finds its origin in the Greek word spoudazō. This word is frequently translated with the primary meaning of being “diligent.”

Paul’s instruction to Timothy was “Study to show…”  When I reflected on these three words it occurred to me that a lack of study also shows—diligence and negligence are polar opposites.

There are three different times that Paul used a form of spoudazō in his instructions to Timothy and Titus (2 Timothy 4:9, 21; Titus 3:12).  In each of these three cases, spoudazō is translated, “Do your best.”

When you read 2 Timothy 2:15, you can see three results of doing your best and being diligent in your study of God’s Word:

  • You receive God’s approval.
  • You will not be embarrassed or ashamed.
  • You “rightly divide the word of truth.”

The two words “rightly divide” are also interesting because they come from a Greek word that is only found once in the New Testament, and it is in this verse.  The word is handling or “orthotomeō,” and it means, “to cut straight; to set forth truthfully, without perversion or distortion (Munce).”

It is translated:

  • “Rightly handling the word of truth” in the English Standard Version.
  • “Handling the word of truth with precision” in the International Standard Version
  • “Correctly teaching the word of truth” in the Holman Christian Standard Bible.

To explain this verse I have often used the example of a carpenter making a straight cut through a piece of wood; however, last night I thought of this verse in a different setting. large_2009-06-23-Alliance-Stadium-grass

I think a better illustration of “rightly dividing the word of truth” is the well-manicured and carefully cut outfield of a baseball stadium.  These works of art are the result of a focused and concentrated effort that involves the use of the right equipment and allotting the proper amount of time to finish the task.

I’ll leave you with this thought:  How does your study show?