Spiritual Lessons from Moneyball—Part 3

Finding value in others is a good trait to develop.  Showing grace where people need it.  Seeing that someone has worth and skill beneath the surface.  Noticing the diamond in the rough.  In the movie Moneyball, many of the scouts looked at players for their defects, failing to see them for their worth.  The use of sabermetrics cut through the subjective reasoning that scouts had traditionally used in player evaluations.

Peter Brand: People are overlooked for a variety of biased reasons and perceived flaws. Age, appearance, personality. Bill James and Mathematics cuts straight through that. Billy, of the twenty thousand knowable players for us to consider, I believe that there’s a championship team of twenty five people that we can afford. Because everyone else in baseball undervalues them. Like an island of misfit toys.

[to Billy, from his computer screen]
Peter Brand: Billy, this is Chad Bradford. He’s a relief pitcher. He’s one of the most undervalued players in baseball. His defect is that he throws funny. Nobody in the big leagues cares about him because he looks funny. He could not only be the best pitcher in our bull pen, but one of the most effective relief pitchers in all of baseball.

God records a similar inner-worth-finding in His choice of King David.  All of David’s brothers looked impressive.

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Getting to the heart of the matter means that we see beyond the externals and look at things the way God sees them.  Humans dig around on the surface to locate defects.  God mines qualities found deep beneath the surface, things in the heart that only God can see.

Yes, there will always be people who’d prefer to look for defects instead of value.

Grady Fuson: Let me get this straight. So you’re not gonna bring in one, but three defective players to replace Giambi?

The scout Grady looked at players the sabermetrics said make sense and he saw 3 defective players that were being selected to replace one irreplaceable All-Star whose departure devastated the team.

Aren’t we all defective in some way, though?

1 Corinthians 1: 26 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things– and the things that are not– to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God– that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

When we judge the way God judges, see value in others the way God sees it, and moreover, when we see from the place of our own defects, we will see that we in the Church are a winning team, not because of how we look, or how righteous we are, or how devoid of defects we’ve been, but because He chose us to be His winning team.

[to the team in the locker room]
Billy Beane: Everybody, listen up! You may not look like a winning team, but you are one. So, play like one tonight.

To us in the Church, God would encourage us to play our hearts out like a winning team, to unabashedly advance the gospel, and to see the value in ourselves and others as being image bearers of God whose Image in us was worth sending Jesus to save.

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This series included 3 Lessons from Moneyball

The Lord looks at the heart

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 1, 2014

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