One of the most unforgettable moments in all of sports history must be the 12th inning of the 1970 All-Star game, when the young Cleveland Indians’ catcher, Ray Fosse, was violently upended by Mr. “Charlie Hustle,” Pete Rose, of the Cincinatti Reds. It was such a hard hit, many wrongfully credit Rose with ruining Fosse’s promising career (he would retire before the end of the decade). Rose did separate Fosse’s shoulder, but closer investigation uncovers more clues as to what happened to Fosse.
Fosse actually spent five tours on the disabled list, for everything from a side muscle pull to a neck injury suffered while breaking up a fight in the clubhouse (Reggie Jackson and Billy North got into a brawl and Fosse suffered a crushed disk trying to stop them from hurting each other, bleacherreport.com). He was also hit by a cherry bomb, thrown from the stands, that blew up by his foot, “badly burning the arch of his foot and causing a shock” (baseballlibrary.com).
Sometimes, when we suffer and struggle, we look for a scapegoat–something or someone to blame. We may blame the church as a whole or a congregation where we attend. We may blame someone who mistreated us or a bad series of events in our life. If we are not careful, we may be placing the blame in the wrong place. Others, from the outside looking in, may think our troubles are from one source when they actually are from quite another.
Others who cause us to stumble share responsibility for our fall (Lk. 17:3). We are influenced by outside influences. However, ultimately, no one else can be blamed for our lostness if we allow ourselves to fall and do not overcome it. Elders will give an account for their oversight (cf. Heb. 13:17). Preachers and teachers must be careful about their preaching and teaching (1 Tim. 4:16). So must more mature Christians (Rom. 15:1ff). But, let us remember, “Each one of us will give an account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12) and “each one will be recompensed for his deeds in the body” (2 Cor. 5:10).