Ken Haskins: Getting out of a slump
The New York Yankees’ rookie sensation, Aaron Judge, had 30 home runs at the All-Star break and he was crowned champion of the Home Run Derby. Then he began to slump. With two home runs this past Sunday, Judge is showing signs of breaking out of his slump. All players experience a slump from time to time.
Christians can slump too. They can take their eyes off of Jesus and neglect the great salvation, prayer, Bible study, worship and service. God seems distant at times like this, yet he’s near. Our Lord stands at the door of our collective heart and knocks. Open the door. Invite him in and enjoy his company. He’s always near. If he seems distant, guess who moved!
There are some things you can do to get out of a spiritual slump. You can work harder and serve more (Romans 12:1-2). A slumping Lou Gehrig was once told perhaps he was working too hard — pressing too hard. The Iron Horse responded, “You can’t work too hard!” What did he know. His lifetime average was .340 and for 13 consecutive seasons he drove in 100 or more runs — 184 in one 154-game season! He played in 2,130 consecutive games. Eventually the disease that would claim his life and bear his name would force him out of the game he loved. He knew that normally, a little extra work could help.
Self-examination can help a slumping Christian. Batters review video. They study stance, mechanics and swing. Christians are told to examine themselves (I Corinthians 11:28). Are we making progress? Are we growing in our faith? Are we more like Christ today than we were yesterday? Are we trusting God to help? (Philippians 1:6).
Another tip for slumping Christians is to ask others for help and listen to them. Teammates can offer encouragement and insight. They may see things we miss. The church is the body of Christ. Each member helps to build up all other members. The Holy Spirit is our coach and helper. The spirit comes alongside of us, encouraging and offering sage advice and wisdom.
Have you been slumping? Get back in the game and get that bat off of your shoulder!
Ken Haskins is pastor of First Christian Church in Carson City.