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Baseball; for a hundred years it’s been a symbol of America. Strong, tough men, competing in an honorable game where the best of the best rose to the top, and no one cried (in public)  for being second. Being second meant harder work, more dedication and mental toughness if you wanted to be called “the best”.

No more. Now self esteem and feelings are the top priority. Read this story about a kid named Jericho, nine years old, who is being forced to quit pitching because its “unfair” and discouraging to the other kids who he strikes out. A “spirit of community” and letting all the kids have equal and fair playing time is now the goal of sports – not competition, overcoming adversity and pushing yourself to achieve.

Enough of the Self Esteem Already

If we were talking about 4 year old T-Ball, then I agree with letting all the kids play equally; but you can still throw out that self-esteem nonsense, not keeping score, and everyone gets a trophy hogwash. Only since the advent of humanist pop psychology did protecting children from the negative feelings in life become an issue of “mental health”.

Ridiculous! Kids learn just as much, no, I say they learn MORE from the experiences of falling short, losing, coming up second (or last), failing to achieve, etc. than they do by winning, being praised, or being number one. “Self esteem” is not the problem with our kids today (or adults for that matter though every talks like their self esteem is in question). What IS a problem is learning not to be selfish, not to be self-centered, not to care about “self” more than anything else. We have no problem with “self esteem”; we are born selfish and we fight being too self-focused our ENTIRE life.

The Bible says our problem is being TOO self-oriented. It is the sin nature to love SELF more than anything else. The world says we don’t love ourselves enough, and we should continually seek to raise our “esteem” and our level of self-love. The two ideas are incompatible. Who are you going to listen to? The world? Or God?

While the modern Church tenaciously embraces “self-isms” (self-esteem, self-love, self-worth; all in direction opposition to Scripture), even the world is starting to realize that all this “self” psychobabble has done is create several generations of narcissistic, emotionally fragile, whiners whose only concern is how they “feel” about everything and never being uncomfortable.

Upside Down World

Taking Jericho off the pitcher’s mound so the other kids won’t feel “discouraged” is the result of this kind of upside down, destructive pop psychology. Let him pitch. Let him compete. Let him do the best HE can do. Let the other kids use it as a catalyst to try harder, to learn to deal with being “second” and learn to buck up in the face of discouragement. Let the other kids learn to be happy that someone else is getting the attention. Let the other kids learn that the world doesn’t revolve around them, and that winning is not a “right”, it is an opportunity.

Let the other kids learn not to be jealous, critical or bitter about another person’s blessing. Let the other kids learn that everyone is NOT equal in all abilities and talents; that life is NOT fair and their feelings are way down the line in priority compared to learning character, integrity and sportsmanship.

And For You Parents…

An while I’m racking up the hate email, let’s jump on parents too. Here’s what the parents are teaching their kids by demounding Jericho: if someone is better than you and you don’t feel good about yourself, get the other person kicked out, kicked off or kicked under.

You know, I would not care so much about this if it were not for the fact that Christians (and the leaders of the Church) embrace the worldly ideas of “self” (Christian psychology anyone?) as much as the world itself. In fact, the world seems to be waking up to this big dangerous joke, while the Church is jumping in with both feet and eyes closed.

Self-esteem, French fries and pimp-mobiles. Just doesn’t have the same ring as a “Baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet” does it?