WHEN ONE OPINION MATTERS
Sports fan or not, most people have heard the name Babe Ruth. For years this man has been considered one of this best to ever play the game of baseball. Not my personal opinion, but it is the opinion shared by many fans of baseball. And again, most people are familiar with the name. But I dare to say most people have never heard the name Babe Pinelli. Pinelli was also a profession baseball player from the year 1918 to 1927. After his playing days were over, he became a highly regarded umpire in the MLB from 1935 to 1956. I want us to consider a time when these two men, Babe Ruth and Babe Pinelli crossed paths.
The year was 1935, Babe Pinelli was beginning his career as an umpire and Babe Ruth’s career was nearing its end as a player for the then Boston Braves. Because Ruth’s career was coming to a close, Pinelli was told he should not call strikes on the ‘legendary’ player. Something Babe Pinelli did not agree to believing Ruth should not receive special treatment, so balls would be balls and strikes would be strikes even for him. The time came when Pinelli was the home plate umpire, and Ruth came up to bat. The pitch was thrown, it came over the plate, Ruth didn’t swing, and because the pitch was a strike, Pinelli called it as such. Ruth then turned to Pinelli and said, “There’s forty thousand people in this park who know that last pitch was a ball, tomato-head!” To which Pinelli replied, “Maybe so, but mine is the only opinion that counts.” Ruth had no response.
In this life it is very easy to get caught up in the opinion of others. Maybe we allow ourselves to be overly concerned with what other think of us or a particular situation, maybe we put too much rank in the opinions of the majority. What we always have to remember is this, it is not the opinions of the majority, the scoffers, or the critics that we will be judged by.
9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?
At the end of the day, it does not matter how popular we are, how many people have high opinions of us, how many people have low opinions of us, hate or despise us. What really matters is how the Lord sees us. His is the only opinion that counts. Great achievements can be had in this life, great accomplishments can be made, but no greater achievement, no greater accomplishment than the Lord having a high opinion of us, than for the Lord to know us. Babe Ruth could have broken every record in MLB history, but was he known by God? A person could have the most gold medals in Olympic history or be one of the best-selling artists worldwide, one could have made great advancements in technology or be the biggest philanthropist in human history, the question is were they known by God?
23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
As Paul said in Galatians 4:9, because we are in Christ we have come to know God and as a result to be known by Him. Jesus says here in Matthew 7:23 there are those who God does not know. Not that the all-knowing God is not truly all-knowing, but that there are those in this life who have chosen and choose not to know Him. Such are those who chose to do their own will instead of the will of the Father. Such are those who cared more about man’s opinion instead of God’s. In the end only one opinion matters. And when one opinion matters, it is His approval we should seek.