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Getting Tough on Me

Now that I am an adult, I actually watch news programs. When I was a young man, I was more interested in sports than news but I have grown to where they are of equal value. Yesterday, two stories stood out to me. One came from a political leader who condemned those who disagreed with her. She actually said she would like them to go hell. The reason this jumped out to me is that it came from someone who not too long ago called for people to be more civil and accommodating in their discourse with others. She couldn’t even stay true to her own expectations.
The other story that caught my attention was a commentator who was sharing his opinion about a group of men who engaged in a fight at a football game. He denounced their actions, derided their character, and declared his opinion that they should be banned from attending games if their behavior didn’t change. He even said there was no room for violence of this kind in our society. The reason this caught my attention is that he is a proponent of abortion, which is also a violent act. He would never think to smear the character of someone who chose to end a human life while it was in the womb but he soundly condemned those who fought other adults in a stadium. Again, here was a very intelligent man who could not stay consistent with his own standards.
As I observed these two accounts, I was reminded of the saying, “Life is hard on those who are not hard on themselves.” We all have this inconsistency in us. We all have the potential to believe one thing and behave another. I am convinced this is why there are some very tough sayings in the Bible. When Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, he was speaking with a group of talented, intelligent believers who had gotten carried away with themselves. They had grown arrogant in their experience and began to think they were more insightful than others. To help save themselves from themselves, Paul wrote, “I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, ‘Do not go beyond what is written.’ Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other.” (1 Corinthians 4:6) Rather than trust the truth and live it out as it is, they distorted it with their own “wisdom.” Rather than applying God’s word as a steward, they adapted it as if they were the author.
I am not saying we shouldn’t be thinkers. God gave us active minds and we face situations every day that must be figured out. What I am saying is that we all have the potential within us to distort the facts to our liking and to dismiss our own personal responsibility in favor of personal freedom. The only way to fight against this is to develop a tough-minded approach to our lives if we want to walk victorious. We must train our minds to think like Christ every day. We must correct our thinking any time it tries to wander. We must receive instruction and coaching from others, not because they are smarter than us but because others often see our potential and our inconsistencies sooner than we do.
I am choosing today to be tough on myself because I want to be an example of excellence. I want to fight with my own tendencies so I can live truly free. I know I will never be perfect here on earth but I hope to never be an example of someone who is inconsistent in my convictions.

2 Responses

  1. Preach it brother! I’m taking this to heart. 🙂

  2. Dead on. Speaking of conviction(s), I’m feeling it…

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