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Bruce Bochy 'Gideon Speech' highlights crossroads of sports and Christianity

Bruce Bochy hopes to guide the San Francisco Giants to a second World Series title in three seasons
Bruce Bochy hopes to guide the San Francisco Giants to a second World Series title in three seasons
Karen Fayeth, Flickr

The San Francisco Giants will play for a shot at the World Series thanks to their Game 5 win over the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Divisional Series (NLDS). They were the first team to ever win three straight elimination games on the road.

According to a CSN Bay Area report, manager Bruce Bochy used the Old Testament for inspiration.

The "Gideon Speech" was given after the team dropped its second home game. It refers to one of the earliest post-Torah scriptures (Judges) about the lowest man from the lowest house in ancient Israel who led his people against superior numbers of better-equipped Midianites.

Let me make this clear: God does not care who wins a playoff game, series or even title.

This is one of the first things out of mouths of those seeking to discredit a player's faith. But finding value should not be limited to wins and losses, performance or any other results like injuries any more than it should be confined to Christianity.

Gideon is simply a good analogy for where the Giants were as they headed for southern Ohio. Any story can speak to players.

A biblical message may speak more deeply to some—for instance, Gideon has come up for me more in recent weeks, telling me God wants me to seek Him through those passages. But it was not the Christian message that brought success.

The reason there seems like so many seeking to dismiss a person's faith in a nation that proclaims to be 85 percent Christian is because of the way God has been represented. While we all fall short of the glory of God, hypocrisy and corruption especially makes any cause suffer.

There are further problems when the pulpit is politicized. It is not bias but fact that is far more likely to come from the Republican Party, and this has driven many away from the glory and grace of God because they feel the Church is partisan.

God's priority is how we act, not how we perform.

For instance, much has been made of Tim Tebow's faith. Only fringe thinkers claim God is interested in the outcome of his games, no matter how divine his success seemed given his relative ineptitude as a passer.

Rather, it is the way Tebow handled the attention before, during and after the games, including from some who can only be considered haters as well as his fans. Then it was how he handled not being wanted by the team he led back from 1-4 to a playoff win. And now how he is handling being left off the field on a New York Jets offense in desperate need of a spark that Tebow has a record of providing from major college football to the NFL.

People in Tebow's position obviously are seen by more people. His parents reached people on a deeper level as missionaries. But one never knows when a boy or girl ministered to in relative obscurity will convert souls because of a gesture from a brother or sister in Christ.

Let us not be guilty of what Jesus warned us of in Matthew 18:6 (driving away potential believers), but abide by 5:16: "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven."

Everything we do is a reflection on everything we are associated with. It is not Bochy's quoting of scripture that reflects the Lord, but his ability to stay positive and lead his men toward their goal when they were facing adversity.


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