Small Ball

If you have been living for more than a few years you have probably been wounded at least once in your life by a friend, co- worker, family member or even someone from church.

The question is how do you respond when you’ve been hurt?

Do you make sure everyone within the city limits and beyond knows you have been hurt sparing no detail, or do you take your heart to the one who created you and allow Him to knit it back together?

Many years ago while serving in full time ministry I had some hard, hurtful things said to me. The comments were inaccurate, inappropriate and out of context. The person who I thought I could trust, threw me under the bus on nothing more than hear say.

I had to make a decision.

Would I take this situation to the court of public opinion and let those around me know exactly what went down in an attempt to clear my name, or would I go to the Lord and trust that He would take care of my reputation and my heart?

I chose to trust God.

My husband and I made a pact after this incident. We call it refusing to play “small ball”. What does that mean? Simply put, we don’t go there. We don’t play the get even game.

Small ball is exhibiting the very behavior that was hurtful and offensive in the first place.

To not play small ball means making a conscious decision not to air my grievances with others in the public arena. It means not fishing for information, not talking to people about “hypothetical situations” and not trying to clear my name or save my reputation.

God knows my heart, my intentions and my desires. If my motives are pure than I can rest knowing that God is on the throne and therefore I don’t have to try to do His job.

Instead, I take these hurts to the cross and allow God to meet me there, heal me and show me what my response if any should be.

Choosing not to play small ball is not a short cut, and it is not easy. Following I’ve listed a few consequences for engaging in the game of small ball:

1. When we have been hurt we seek comfort. We seek this from people rather than turning our hearts toward the Lord. Our God is a jealous God and He wants our undivided affection.

2. When a friend or family member has hurt us, we often want to retaliate. This is non productive and almost always makes the situation worse.

3. When we seek justice in the court of public opinion, we demonstrate a lack of maturity. When we are more interested in “outing” the other person under the guise of justice, we discount the redemptive power of God.

4. When we pursue dealing with our personal wounds in a public arena we deny God the opportunity to heal and restore us and settle for well meaning words from friends and family.

5. When we look to have our interpersonal injuries dealt with in public, we miss out on the opportunity to learn and grow from the experience and potentially miss the lesson that God had for us.

Have you played small ball, and if so what was the score?

Grace & Peace ~ Karen


10 thoughts on “Small Ball

  1. Justin Falls says:

    Ugh…..unfortunately, I can’t say that I’ve never played small ball. I would say this has been an area of growth for me over the last 5 years, but it’s something I need to be intentional about when the arrows come in.

    Good words, Karen.

    • KAREN COOK says:

      Thanks Justin. Yep, it’s hard not to “go there”. I’ve been there and instantly regret it. I recently had an incident that I find myself wanting to set the record straight on and it has become a daily laying down….

  2. Christi Manthey Marcotte says:

    Someone I trusted and looked to as a Godly authority spoke something into my life that rocked me to the core for days.  I had to decide through much prayer and council with my husband if the comments came from a misguided man, or through the man from the Holy Spirit.  I concluded that his words did not ring with God’s truth.  I chose to confront him in love– not my first instinct!  It was hard, but it maintained the relationship and allowed us both to grow.  Small ball would have been more satisfying in the moment, but harmful in the long-term.

    • KAREN COOK says:

      Christi, thanks for sharing your example. I’m glad your experience was beneficial and allowed the relationship to continue. So often we close our hearts to any possible future with the person who caused the hurt and we miss out. thanks for stopping by!

  3. Terri Richards says:

    Stealing the words from a song: I recently found myself “sifting the dirt that covered the grave, of the petty offenses I never forgave”.  Due to a death of a friend there have been a lot of phonecalls that led to reminiscing – some of it was the harmful kind.  When asked if I had seen or heard from someone of our past, I found myself recounting the very situation that negatively changed our relationship those many years ago.  What a surprise …I was playing retro-active small ball.  Hmm.  Have to take that one to the Lord….again.  Thanks for these words or wisdom Karen.

    • KAREN COOK says:

      Thanks for sharing that Terri…your retro-active small ball hit home with me (no pun intended). It’s easy to get taken right back to the moment of our injury when talking with people from our past. Praying for healing for you as you journey this old hurt and as you grieve the loss of your friend. Much love my friend. I think we both need golf therapy!

  4. Danie Marie says:

    I’ve been guilty of playing small ball, but I’m also coming to realize that when people do or say hurtful things, it’s often their immatuity; their deal. That doesn’t mean what has transpired doesn’t hurt, but I’m learning that when a person continually does offensive things, to put my guard up, understanding that they have issues, and praying for them. Sometimes their actions have been out of jealousy. In any case, staying in communion with the Lord helps tremendously. He gives me discernment. I love that!

    • KAREN COOK says:

      Discernment is a wonderful thing – especially when there is repeated wounding. Sometimes we are hurt when a person speaks hard truth and then it is our deal – other times the injury is due to poor communication or immaturity…that becomes their deal and we go to our knees. Thanks Danie for sharing your experience with Small ball.

  5. Cindy Holman says:

    This is great – I have not been great at playing small ball – I’ve been hurt and wanted JUSTICE and TRUTH but received neither one – and have just had to leave it to God – the one who truly convicts the heart and mind.

    • KAREN COOK says:

      I hear ya Cindy. I’ve played small ball way to many times. It’s so easy to feel justified in wanting to “out” the person who caused the pain. But when we allow God to be God, He is able to turn a difficult situation into something beautiful. I’ve been tempted to do play small ball recently and have had to repeatedly go to my knees. It’s humbling, but I know it is the right response for me. Hope you have a fabulous weekend my friend!

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