Both noon sports talk shows I listen to spent a large amount of time discussing Texas Ranger’s Josh Hamilton relapse photo’s. Considered to be THE poster boy for overcoming drug and alcohol addiction, Hamilton did a no-no for any addict: he had a beer. That beer turned into beers, and those beers turned into racy photo’s recently posted on Deadspin.com 7 months after the event. One host expressed the need to never go out, while the other recognized a continued need for accountability. Here are my “takes.”
1.) Repentance: Most people will confess and craft an apology after they’ve been caught. Usually this just reveals a sorrow for being caught, not a sorrow for the action. This is not always the case-as King David only repented when he was caught by Nathan the prophet-but often seems to be the case. Yet Hamilton confessed to his family and team immediately after these events went down. So to me that evidences the work of Christ in his life; the same Christ whom he credits for his 4 previous years of sobriety and successful comeback to baseball. And of course, Christ has already offered pardon for all sins through his atonement on the cross.
2.) Perpetual Struggle with Sin: For a time Josh Hamilton used to give his money to someone responsible for holding him accountable in the area of drugs and alcohol. He couldn’t spend a dime unless his own money had been divvied out to him. I’m assuming that this is still the case. This is an example to us all how powerful temptations can be, and the need to have others in our lives. He will always be an alcoholic, but he does not have to be a slave to alcohol. The same is true with our sin struggles. I am going to be a sinner till I die, but I do not have to enslaved to envy or anger. Nevertheless, the minute we forget about about our battle with sin, is the minute we take the next step toward that “open bar.” Fortunately for most of us, we’re not famous enough to land on deadspin.com. I think that’s really the only difference.
Here’s the story as covered by ESPN. Photo’s are a bit racy, but remind us of the damage caused when we give into temptation and the need to run to Christ.