Steve Cishek – 1 Corinthians 10:31

Steve Cishek

Pitcher Steve Cishek.  Photo by Keith Allison

The New Year will soon be upon us.  We prepare to say goodbye to 2017 and welcome in 2018.  Many of us will use this as an opportunity to recommit ourselves to live better lives than we’ve been living. 

My very first blog post here on A Lamp unto My Cleats was about relief pitcher Steve Cishek.  Cishek will be experiencing a new beginning this year as well.  On December 16, 2017, he signed as a free agent with the Chicago Cubs; his 4th big league team.

Below are Cishek’s thoughts about New Years Day;

“So many people go out and make New Year resolutions.  New Year resolutions are a great thing, but how many people actually stick to it and follow those changes they want to make?  Let’s look at a list of New Year resolutions made by people this year:

  1. Weight Loss/ Working Out
  2. Stop Smoking
  3. Learn Something New
  4. Eat Healthier and Diet
  5. Be Less Stressed
  6. Drink Less
  7. Make a Health Appointment
  8. Devote More Time to Hobbies
  9. Visit a New Destination
  10. Help Someone Else (described: so it will make you feel better)

All of these resolutions are not necessarily bad things.  In fact many, if not all, are good ideas.  However what [is] the common theme of these resolutions?  Self.  Self improvement, making yourself feel better, satisfying yourself… you get the idea.  As Christians, we need deeper and less self-centered resolutions.  Resolutions that bring God all the Glory.  1 Corinthings 10:31 says, “so, whether you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Cishek has some suggestions as to what a Christian New Year’s Resolution should look like.

  1. Resolve to serve Christians in the church
  2. Resolve to believe God is good, wise, and sovereign when life is tough
  3. Engage in Gospel conversations with people in my life
  4. Putting to death fear of man
  5. Resolve to softening our hearts while listening to the Word.
  6. Pray and actively engage in these resolutions

May God bless each and every one of you with a safe, happy, and healthy 2018!  To read further on Cishek’s New Year’s Resolutions, check out his blog.

Steve Cishek – Colossians 3:23

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Steve Cishek, Relief Pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays.  Photo by Laura Smith

When God first gave the Ten Commandments to His people, He also provided the following instructions; And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).  For Seattle Mariner’s pitchers, Steve Cishek, perhaps we should say it a bit differently; write them on a piece of paper, tuck them in your pocket, and carry them to the pitcher’s mound.

Every time Cishek takes the mound, he carries with him a small, square, laminated piece of paper, tattered and wrinkled on the corners.  On that piece of paper are the words of his favorite Bible verse, Colossians 3:23 – whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for a human master.”  Before facing his first batter, he reads these words.  

Cishek explained to mlb.com’s Jenifer Langosch;  “I could recite it in my head, but pulling it out of my back pocket makes me slow down and take my time a little bit when I just want to go, go, go.  I can sit back and read some scripture to really set my mind and get after it with hitters.”  He added in a JesusnSports interview; “It reminds me that when I am pitching, I can’t pitch to impress our coaches of staff or any team mates. I’m working for God’s glory. With good outings or bad outings He doesn’t care how I pitch. No matter what He loves me. So it takes an enormous amount of pressure off me to perform for a crowd or coaches. And good outing or terrible outing I always thank the Lord for what He has done in my life and for allowing for me to play baseball.”

Whatever we do in our lives, we do well to remember God’s Word from Colossians 3.  We should do nothing in life to bring glory to ourselves.  Instead, we should constantly remember that all that we do is for God and His glory.  That’s the model that Jesus set for us.  He came, not to be served, glorified, or honored, but instead He made Himself nothing that we might be saved. Everything that Jesus did, He worked at it with all His heart, as working for the Lord, not for a human master.