Posted on Friday, February 3, 2012
in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Sports, Values
I’ve made many mistakes in my life.
Many of them could easily have been avoided.
Fortunately, not one of my mistakes has ended in the headlines.
Dallas Morning News reported today that Major League baseball player, “Rangers’ Josh Hamilton has relapse with alcohol at area bar.” USA Today, Washington Post, Fox Sports, it’s on the news, it’s filling the headlines.
“Someone went to a bar” is hardly news. “Someone had a few drinks” isn’t either. Unless that someone is, as Jeff Passan described him, the “most famous addict in sports.” Then, everyone who knows about you knows that that’s a problem. Josh Hamilton’s story of self-destruction, sobriety, redemption and success have been well-documented including his autobiographical Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back.
Yahoo Sports Jeff Passan wrote, “The worst part about Josh Hamilton’s relapse is that he didn’t care. The most famous addict in sports does not go to a bar in the town where he is best known without full knowledge that his exploits will become public…Only Hamilton understands why he would choose such a setting to drink, whether it was the empowerment of doing what he wants, where he wants, when he wants, or if it was his way of asking for help as he floats about without an accountability partner.”
I’m not trying to dump on Josh Hamilton or to make his bad week even worse. His tale is a cautionary tale for all of us!
This is the fifth of a series on Pro Bowl — all-star quality — friendships. The fifth, and most relevant to me personally is, to “Check To See If You Have Excessive Need For Approval.”
I’ve been an accountability partner, and I’ve had my own need for accountability partners, formal and informal. People who hold me accountable to values I’ve chosen or want to uphold.
This weekend I will see my two dearest friends. They are the two men who have held me most accountable. I love them, but there are other times that I have been reluctant to see them because I’m struggling. Other times, because of my fear of rejection — and my need for approval — I have either avoided them, intentionally changed the subject or outright lied.
I know I lied. I may not have said “black” was “white” kind of lie, but I know I wasn’t answering their question honestly.
Gerry Fraley reported, “Hamilton drank alcohol Monday night ( and) teammate Ian Kinsler also showed up at the bar for what appeared to be an attempt to persuade Hamilton to return to his home…”
Good friends may have protected me, but it has been and (as long as I’m healthy) always will be my responsibility to choose wisely and find accountability partners. It’s not enough to have them, it’s also important to follow their wise advice.
MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan interviewed Hamilton after his last relapse. ”I feel like I’ve been humbled…I got away from the one thing that kept me on the straight and narrow and that was my relationship with the Lord. That should always come first. Hopefully some good will come out of this…”
“Obviously it was one those things that reinforce that I can’t have alcohol…Maybe this will show people that if they are recovering and make a mistake, it’s not the end of the world. You can get back on the right track. Hopefully I can use God’s glory to show that I do have struggles. This just lets me know that I need Christ more than ever.”
Want Pro Bowl — all-star quality — friendships? Yes, we do; then they will include “I’m not gonna hide in my fears” accountability.
This is my challenge for you and this is mysilentscream into my own ear.
Note – If you’re interested in reading more from Alan Loy McGinnis’ book “The Friendship Factor” you can find it here.