First Things First
Most of boyhood is a hands-on learning experience of how to do and how not to do.Watching someone else do something, like watching my dad hammering a nail or painting a chair, was never fun, but it was part of my learning curriculum. Whenever he turned that hammer over to me and said, “You give it a whack,” I grinned from ear to ear.
Try it with any boy or girl under the age of eleven and you’ll see. Crack and whisk an egg with a young heart looking on, then casually drop the invitation “You want to try?” and watch what happens next.
Sometimes the learning proposition is that life is grand and beautiful. Other times, the hammer hits the thumb or the eggs splatter on the floor.
The apostle Paul wrote,
The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way— never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for  smashing warped philosophies,  tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God,  fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity. -2 Corinthians 10:3–6 (MSG)
Did you see the 1- 2- 3?
Read it again.
Far too many men believe their mission is to fight for other peoples’ lives. I believe Paul is talking about the “1, 2, 3” as the mission of a man’s own comeback- the fight for his own heart. Walking with God to smash my own warped philosophies helps me to tear down the truth barriers in my heart, and to restructure my life in alignment with that of Christ’s.
The “School of Hard Knocks” has a high tuition. I hear stories every day of the mistakes people make and their hopes of recovering. Some mistakes are innocent enough, casual mishaps or the messy debris of an unfocused moment. Other mistakes can take months, even a lifetime, to repair. We’ve all heard the lines and maybe even said them ourselves:
“I only did it once.”
“I wish someone had told me.”
“I should’ve listened to my . . .”
These are not promising ways to begin a story.
Think back on your life.
What moments of bad judgment or split-second miscalculations have led to wounds of your heart or those you love?
I have a history of casualties due to impulsivity, misunderstanding, or simply being at the wrong place spiritually at the wrong time physically. It’s what can happen when a Warrior helps others sort through their stories, helps in uncovering the lies, and escorts a heart to healing.
The rescue, redemption, and restoration of any man, and the validation, acceptance, worth, and belonging he continues to seek in his story, is an incredible experience in which to play a part. It is why a man’s first mission and training is to get his heart back… journeying with Jesus through his past in order to partner with Jesus for the future— first the man’s own future, then that of others.
It’s an overwhelming proposition, inviting us to settle into God . . . always.
In your Time alone with God, ask Him:
Father God, when have I focused on Your love of others more than of me and set Your pursuit of my heart to the side?
Jesus, what barriers to the truth are residing in my heart?