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Did He Really Do That?

Found within the character of most people is a tender spot called a conscience.  That God-given conviction device and moral guidance system was put there to press us into Christ when times of moral choices come in the course of a day.  That spiritual warning system is set to give us grief when we say, act, or fail to act in ways that are morally upright and true.   Like most correction, the compelling guilt issued by our conscience is not pleasant.  The misery of wrong doing should be a strong motivator to live in ways that are upright, loving, and honoring to God.

None of us is perfect and all of us fall short.  That is why our consciences have to be constantly active and need to be programmed frequently through Bible reading and prayer so that they are in top working order.  How disconcerting it is that sin “is at the door” of most every decision!  And frequently, it does not take much for that sin to flood our minds, wills, or emotions and cause us to “transgress” (step over the line into sin).  If our consciences are well tuned, we immediately realize how we responded or acted, and we repent.  However, if our conscience is calloused, then we seek to hide our word or deed and act as if “it was no big deal”.  The Bible book of Titus teaches about conscience….To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.  (Titus1:15.

On Sunday, June 13, 2004, Matt Starr was at Ameriquest Field in Arlington, Texas, watching the home team Rangers take on the St. Louis Cardinals. When a foul ball was hit toward where he was sitting, the 28-year-old landscaper leapt over the seat in front of him. Even though the ball had landed at the feet of 4-year-old Nicholas O’Brien, Starr knocked the boy against the seats and pounced on the ball. The boy’s mother, insulted by the aggressive behavior, swatted him with her program, while fans chanted, “Give the boy the ball.” But, clutching the ball to himself, Starr returned to his seat unwilling to part with his new souvenir.

Even the ballplayers witnessed Starr’s actions. Between innings, Cardinals’ outfielder, Reggie Sanders, went into the stands to give the boy a bat. Nicholas also received souvenirs from the Texas Rangers, including one signed by Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan. Video of Starr’s self-serving behavior was shown on television stations across the country.

When interviewed on Good Morning America, Edie O’Brien, Nicholas’ mother, admitted calling Starr a jerk, among other names. “I said, ’You trampled a 4-year-old boy to get this ball,’ and he said, ’Oh, well.’”

Four days later, Starr, a former youth minister at a nearby church, expressed sorrow for his behavior. He agreed to send a letter of apology to the O’Brien family. Starr also indicated he would give the boy the ball. In addition, he would buy tickets for the entire family to a future Rangers’ game.  (Copied).

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  (Heb.10:22).