Matthew Boyd is a professional pitcher for the Detroit Tigers
Five Increase Questions
What effect does your faith have on your lifestyle?
I wouldn’t really say I have a lifestyle, instead I have a faith. It’s just the way I live. I’m called to live for Him and if He told me today that I needed to stop playing baseball in order to move to Uganda to spread the Gospel, then we would. My faith is everything to me; everything my wife and I do we do through prayer and seeking Him. Everything apart from Christ will perish therefore I want everything I do to glorify Him.
Describe how your Journey with Christ began.
I grew up in a Christian home; my mom and dad were believers and I really never knew anything else. I grew up reading the Bible and being raised according to God’s Word. It was awesome and I’m really grateful for this. When I was in high school, even though I may not have been truly seeking God at the time, there were times when I knew He was watching out for me. It wasn’t really until college when my faith became my own and I truly started living for Christ. At that time I finally started listening to God instead of just asking things of Him. One moment in particular stands out as a defining moment for me in my faith… It was my junior year at Oregon State and I had just had two All-American years back to back. I had played on Team USA that year and thought I was a sure fire for a draft pick. That season I started struggling for the first time in my collegiate career. Baseball was becoming my identity — who I was, not just something I did. I started dropping in the draft order and I began thinking I was going to just sign somewhere and leave. I was angry about the situation; I wanted a plane ticket out of there so I could just start my career. I was drafted late that year by the Reds — a deal was agreed upon and I was ready to sign. I had met with my agent who told me that part of my deal would include the team paying for the last four quarters of school I had to do. I had made a promise to my parents that I would finish my degree. But the next day something was bothering me — something I couldn’t shake. It was the first time I felt uneasy about this so I prayed, “OK Lord, am I supposed to sign? Make it clear to me if this is not right.” I soon got a call from the Reds saying, “Hey! We’ve got the money amount for you and we have one quarter of school covered.” To which I reminded them that we had agreed on four. He admitted he forgot but said it wouldn’t be a problem. Then the second call came in and he let me know they could only cover one quarter. I began to fight it but then realized that this was God speaking to me — making it clear. I decided not to sign and instead went back to school. I knew God was leading me in this direction even though it was not my perfect plan. In fact, it was a better plan. Not only was that the moment when I truly started to trusting the Lord, but that season with Oregon State I saw a few of my teammates come to know Christ, that was the season I met my wife, and once again we won a Pac-12 championship, which led me to be drafted even higher. By trusting in the Lord, even though I didn’t fully know what that meant or would result in, I experienced His plan to be way better than my own. This is a lesson I’m still learning today. The summer I said no was a turning point in my faith and consequently, in my career as well. I went into that season with the expectation of playing pro ball, but I also knew that if baseball wasn’t where He wanted me, then He would have something better for me. I had never had a peace like that before. His grace was showered upon me and as a result, that was the time I truly started committing my life and plans to the Lord.
Who have been the mentors in your life? How did God bring these people into your life?
My parents raised me to know and love God. They continually showed me the truths of the Word and the kindness of Christ through their own parenting and love. When I was younger, my grandmother would always come over and read me Bible stories of Daniel and David. These early teachings really resonated with me; I knew that they were from the Bible and chosen by God. In college I was surrounded by numerous people who impacted me greatly. From Coach Bailey who held team Bible studies at his house to the couple who mentored my wife and me, there were so many people who showed us how to follow Christ more closely. Now in Detroit, I’m able to be led by our chaplain, Jeff Totten. All these people have faithfully poured into me and my wife and we’ve grown closer to Christ because of them.
What does the Increase of Christ mean to you?
When I read John 3:30 I’m reminded that anything that’s of my own urge or desire must die. I must fill myself fully with Christ and His Holy Spirit. I know that His will is to build the Kingdom and show how great He is. Everything is centered around Him, not us. Anything and everything we do on Earth is for His Kingdom. Our own intentions and desires fall at His feet and He will lead us to do even greater things — things that we can’t imagine or hope for on our own. Increasing Christ in our lives assures us the eternal promises He offers.
What is your life verse and why?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” — Proverbs 3:5-6 This is something that my wife’s always reminded me of. It’s a truth that was hugely influential for me during my junior year at college. This is the battle, not just for that day, but for everyday. When the questions arise, “Am I going to make the squad next season? How do we raise our child? How do we grow in our marriage? What do we do with our finances? Home? Occupation?” In all these things we need to trust in God and not in our own understanding. When we submit to Him, He will guide us as He sees fit. When we do, He will fill us up in ways that we never could have imagined.