This devotional by former baseball pitcher Andy Pettitte is featured in The Increase’s 21-Day YouVersion Devotional. Start this plan to read more stories by pro athletes.
Who we are when no one is looking is a huge thing for everyone. Who we are when everyone’s looking is a big deal too.
But who are we when everyone’s accusing?
I would love not to have to answer any of those questions about myself. But unfortunately, the circumstances of my baseball career have forced me to. And looking back on this chapter of my life, I can see the guiding hand of God all over it.
“Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.
“The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.
“Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’
“But he refused. ‘With me in charge,’ he told her, ‘my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?’ And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.
“One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’ But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.
“When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, she called her household servants. ‘Look,’ she said to them, ‘this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.’
“She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home. Then she told him this story: ‘That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.’
“When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, ‘This is how your slave treated me,’ he burned with anger. Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined.
“But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.” — Genesis 39
Now, I don’t want you to read that story and think that I’m identifying Joseph’s situation with my situation. The reason that passage speaks to me so deeply is because he was unjustly accused, and he needed to respond to it. I can relate to that.
As a Yankees starting pitcher, I used human growth hormone (HGH) for two days in 2002, and for one day in 2004. I did this to help heal from an injury. This was before HGH was a banned substance in the league.
But then a government report called The Mitchell Report (after Sen. Robert Mitchell, its author) was published, naming MLB players who had used steroids (an already-banned substance). My name was in that report. I knew the choice was mine to respond with either the whole truth or with a lie. And I knew which road to take. As the story continued to play out in the national media, I watched God take care of my wife and my children. And ultimately, I felt the hand of God taking care of me. He was holding me, and I knew it.
I told the whole truth at the press conference, and I continue to tell the whole truth to this day. You can hear the story at The Increase website.
But instead of telling a story about me, I’d rather tell the story of a God who redeems our lives, and who does it over and over and over again. May our lives become living and breathing examples of that God.
— Andy Pettitte, former MLB pitcher
The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit TheIncrease.com for more stories and videos.