Same Ol’ Thing… Day In Day Out
Does it ever seem like you cannot get out from under the “weight” that keeps you down; that holds you back? You find yourself asking: “Why don’t I ever change? Why do I find myself dealing with the same ol’ stuff, time and time again. I want to succeed! I am tired of feeling like a failure!” I don’t know about you, but there have definitely been times in my life that I have felt that way. There have definitely been “weights” I have allowed to cling to me. And I have to ask myself, “Why? Why when I know that Christ already paid for my victory?” Scripture teaches us in Hebrews 12:1: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Okay, I am to “strip off every weight that slows me down”. HOW? And when I personally ask this question, I want practical answers – not “platitudes that placate”; not religious verbiage, like “just leave it at the altar… just pray it through”; and I sure don’t need some well meaning brother or sister telling me that I would have victory if I was just more spiritual. UGH!!! I need to know HOW! Yes, I know Christ is my strength. Yes, I believe every scripture. How do I activate what I know in my life? How do I quit being the fool who is like that dog in Proverbs 26:11 who keeps returning to his vomit? Well, in this little blog, I don’t expect to be able to answer in great detail these questions; but it is my hope that we will at least begin to see a light at the end of our weighty tunnel.
I once read that when the U.S. Treasury trained its agents to be able to tell counterfeit money from the real thing, they had them do the following: They would sit them in a room and have them count nothing but real money for hours on end. After they had done this day in, day out, a counterfeit bill would be introduced into the mix. They found it easily. Why? They were so used to the real thing, it was easy for them to identify the counterfeit. So, for a moment, I want us to look at an example of the “real thing” – of what helped some young men to become very successful.
I had cousins and a brother that were very good at sports. Several of them became state wrestling champs; received college football scholarships, and I have one that was the first high school football player to play both defense and offense in the state all star bowl. What made them successful – even in a very competitive environment? I feel some of the principles that made them such a success are principles we can even use to rid ourselves of those things holding us back!
- They knew their opponent! They would spend hours looking at game films of the other team. The wrestlers would watch their opponents’ matches. They wanted to know what they are up against. Do you, do I know my opponent or even opponents? What is my real issue-my real enemy? I feel we often fail because we don’t realize what the real problem is! For example, if I have an addictive issue, if I think drugs/alcohol are the problem, I am wrong. It is what drives me to use them that is the problem. When exposing the enemies in my life, I need to look at ALL aspects of my life.
- They set goals. They lived by the old adage: “You fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Change, growth, and improvement in any are of our lives is intentional. We have to set short term, mid, and long range goals.
- They experienced defeat but did not give up. Every single one of them failed and had set backs. I can remember some of them being side lined due to serious injuries, but they did not give up – they kept going. When you, when I fail, quitting cannot be an option. When I do marriage counseling, I tell the couple that if divorce on the table, they will likely take it. For us, no matter what we are dealing with, quitting cannot be an option.
- They were willing to pay the price. No matter how they had to restrict their lifestyle; no matter the work involved; and no matter how much time it took – they did it! I have to ask myself, “Am I willing to pay the price?” Am I willing to do whatever it takes to get rid of that thing that is holding me back? It may mean leaving negative relationships behind; staying away from certain places; altering my schedule. For example, I know that I can only do things through Christ – He is my source of strength. Am I willing to spend time with Him through prayer and by being in His word? And if someone or something is a hindrance to me, am I willing to totally eradicate it or them out of my life?
- They paced themselves. They realized it would take time and patience to achieve their goals. They did not get to the top of themselves overnight and had to endure obstacles along the way. Though none of these guys were track stars, they knew that they had to view what they were doing as a marathon and not a sprint.
- Lastly, they remained teachable. None of them viewed themselves as having “arrived”. The ones who continued being a success kept a humble, teachable attitude. Every time they reached one level they sought mentors/coaches and the instruction needed to take them to the next level.
The truths from this little lesson can cross over to any change we want to make in our lives. Before I sign off, I feel I must stress one last thing. I know that I know, that when we do our part, the Lord will more than do His! He will lead us; guide us; and give us the strength to successfully walk out this Christian life – one minute; one hour; one day at a time. Blessings… #victoryinJesus