I Should’ve Worn My Steel Toe Boots Today

One of the things I love about God’s Word, is how it will let you know when you’ve missed the mark. As I sat listening to my Pastor teaching about the many fruits of the Holy Spirit, it occurred to me how much I was not walking in them. Ouch! God spent most of the morning stepping all over my toes; reminding me of all the times I had missed it with my boss last week.

Now one of the really cool things about God is even when He’s showing you where you’ve missed it, He does so in a way that reveals His desire for you to reach your full potential. He doesn’t do it in a way which makes you feel bad about yourself, but challenges you to do better.

As my pastor listed the nine fruits of the Spirit, it dawned on me I had missed using the first one…badly. Love is the first fruit and honestly if you get this one right, the other eight pretty much fall into place.

What does it actually mean to love however? I know a lot of people think of the mushy, hearts and roses, I love you stuff we are inundated with at Valentine’s Day when this word is used, but really this is more of a by product of love, and not actually love itself.

Scripture gives us the answer in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. It says;

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love never fails.”

First off, in order to be sure I am walking in love, I have to ask myself a few questions; am I being patient and kind? Do I get jealous? Am I boastful, proud or rude? Do I demand my own way, am I irritable? Do I keep a list of who’s done me wrong and go over it again and again? Do I rejoice at injustice, or when truth wins out? Do I give up and lose faith? Am I always hopeful, and endure (without complaining) through every circumstance? Do I fail?

Honestly, I cannot answer these questions in a positive way right now, therefore it is evident I have not been walking in love. It’s a sad reality to face, especially at 53; you’d think I’d have this one figured out by now. The good news is though, I can make changes today and begin learning how to walk in love, changing the trajectory my life has been on. It won’t be too long until I won’t need my steel toe boots in church any more…

Living for Jesus and taking Him at His Word daily…

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Embarrassment; the Bane of Every Man’s Existence

The day way extremely hot and muggy, and I couldn’t have been any wetter if I’d jumped into a swimming pool fully clothed.  It was getting close to noon when word came down we were going to work through lunch.  I’m usually a pretty easy-going guy, but on this particular day it challenged me greatly to have to do this, and I didn’t handle things the way I should have.

Have you ever watched a fire grow in intensity, getting larger and hotter by the minute?  This is what I began to experience in my mind. Letting my irritation get the best of me, I let the expletives fly in front of some of the men I work with.

The day didn’t get any better, I missed out on lunch completely, stayed both hot and wet, finally ending up home and in bed by 8:30pm.  I just wanted the day to be over. Texting my bride goodnight, she came into the room to see what was wrong with me and I told her I didn’t want to talk about it.

You see, I was totally embarrassed by my outburst in front of those men, and the last thing I wanted to do was explain myself to her.  And not because I didn’t want to share my life with her; it was because I felt like a fool.

One thing I’ve learned in life is men do not like to be embarrassed or look foolish.  A guy will take a kick to the crotch over being the laughing-stock every time. It’s all about honor; without it, we’re nothing.

Men can take just about anything from another man, but to lose face in front of his wife is unbearable, at least it is for me.  There is nothing else which will make me feel more like a failure. This is why I didn’t want to talk to my bride about what had happened at work, because I already felt like a fool, failure and complete waste of space.  And having to explain what I’d done wasn’t going to help.  For me, bringing the day to a close was the thing I needed.

You might be saying, “But Dave, it’s not a big deal to lose your temper and cuss in front of the guys, everybody does that from time to time.” And while I would agree it isn’t a big deal for a lot of men, it is for me. The reason is because I’ve made a decision to live my life as a follower of Christ, and this is not the way Jesus would want me to act. I’m not a super Christian or anything; I’m flawed and realize it daily, but I do try to live my life pleasing to God. This day I didn’t do that, and it really bothered me.

I think I know how Peter felt after he denied knowing Jesus the night they arrested him. Scripture says Peter was pointed out by several people as being one of Jesus’s followers (twice by girls) and this big fisherman cussed a blue streak, saying he didn’t know the man.

Earlier that night, Jesus had told Peter he would deny knowing him three times before the rooster crowed, but Peter had declared, “Never! I will go with you all the way, even to the death!” As he heard the rooster crow and realized Jesus had been correct, Scripture says he ran into the night and wept bitterly.

Like Peter, I too felt remorse for what I had done.  The feeling of failure hung over me like a dark cloud for the entire day.  But I’m happy to announce the next day was much better.  I apologized to the men I flipped out in front of, and moved on with my life, working more diligently for this to never happen again. Will it?  Who knows?  Probably.  I am a man after all, and men make mistakes.

I do know this however, the next time someone flips out in front of me for whatever reason, I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt before making any hasty judgements about them that’s for sure.

Well, now you know what I think.  What do you think?