Forgiving Bartman

Forgiving Bartman

We, as sports fans, know we are crazy! Being extremely invested in our favorite teams, we take it personally when they lose and can be quick to point blame toward the refs, coaches, and even other fans.

With the Chicago Cubs competing in the World Series, one name is resurfacing—Steve Bartman. He’s the infamous Cubs fan who grabbed the foul ball that many people think prevented Moises Alou from getting a crucial out.

The Cubs had a 3-0 lead at the time, and were only five outs away from going to the 2003 World Series. But after that play, the game unraveled and the Cubs lost.

Bartman has represented the Cubs’ “curse,” and has been hated by other fans. He’s carried major blame for losing that series and extending the championship drought.

As the Cubs played at Wrigley Field in the World Series tonight for the first time since 1945, is it time for Bartman to be just a distant memory? Have Cubs fans forgiven him by now? Do they have to win the World Series before that can happen?

In questioning how Cubs fans will view Bartman moving forward, and how crazy this story really is, we can draw a parallel to our own lives.

We’ve all experienced some level of pain and disappointment in life, and all too often we blame it on someone else. Instead of accepting responsibility for our own actions, we tend to find fault in others for the unfortunate outcome and refuse to let go of the pain they have caused.

Regardless of whether or not the blame is warranted, eventually we must get to a point of forgiveness. It’s crucial to remove the blame and anger we have toward someone, so we can fully live in freedom. Instead of thinking about Bartman, Cubs fans should be soaking in every moment of this great season.

The act of forgiveness is a difficult, yet wonderful process. As followers of Jesus, we can forgive others because of the grace and forgiveness we’ve been shown through the cross of Christ. We no longer have to be caught up in blame or grudges because of our freedom in Jesus.

The Bible says in Matthew 6:14-15 (NLT), “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Cubs fans may finally forgive Bartman, but for many it will be conditional on whether or not they win the World Series. Today, as followers of Jesus, let’s remember the reason to forgive is because we’ve already been forgiven—and no other condition is needed.

Check out more from Bryce Johnson on sports, faith, and life at Unpackin’It