The Struggle

Intend to Live: Struggle

What do you struggle with?

~Life Work Balance ~Time ~Temptation ~Waiting on God ~Getting angry too quickly ~Envy ~Priorities ~Relationships

I could go on and on but today, I want to talk about the struggle for your soul. I find myself struggling with how to react when things go wrong. When something I’m struggling with from the list above doesn’t go the way it should. How quickly do I coarse correct?

Golf is a fun and frustrating game. When you address the ball it’s very helpful to be lined up in a consistent way every time. If anything changes, it will change the result of where the ball ends up after you swing. I’m not much of a golfer. I enjoy playing because I enjoy being with friends and being outside. I’m not very good. But as I see other golfers who are good. They are consistent in how they set up, line up, and swing. The ball is positioned in the same spot when they want to hit the ball straight. The feet line up as a direction of where the ball should go. The correct club has to be selected so that the consistent swing will result in the ball going off of that club the expected distance every time. One of the reasons I’m not very good is because I don’t have physical cues or checks that I run through to make sure I’m consistent. I’m just enjoying conversation and not thinking enough about the strokes.

Recently I was golfing with my son and he filmed two tee shots. I took two from this tee box for the 190-yard par 3. The reason I took two is that the first one went straight but missed the green badly to the right. I lined up again and ended up with the same result. Later that evening, I was running through the video and noticed that both times, I lined up to the right and ended with the same bad result, missing the mark.

The same thing happens in the struggle of life. If we aren’t lined up right, we miss the mark. When we react and do something we shouldn’t do, we have to check our alignment. My natural reaction after I mess up and fail to be a victor in a struggle is the be reclusive and withdraw. I want to get away and be alone. Over time, I’ve realized this isn’t healthy in most scenarios as isolation isn’t good. Instead, what I need to do is have some cues to check myself against. Cues like LOVE, JOY, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, AND SELF-CONTROL. Checks like “Was I slow to be angry and quick to listen?”, “Was I loving others as myself?” , “Was I like the Good Samaritan or was I more like the two that passed by my neighbor without helping?”, and “Are my priorities aligned with how I’m spending my time?”

Matthew 7:20 says, “So you’ll recognize them by their fruit.” In context, Jesus is speaking about good trees produce good fruit and bad trees produce bad fruit. He goes on to talk about how some who presumed to produce good fruit, who fooled themselves and others into believing that they produced good fruit, ended up hearing Jesus say to them, “I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!” I think it’s easy for us to put on sheep’s clothing to most people. Not so easy to those we love the most. Most often, they see the wolf inside the sheep’s clothing. The fruit, the real fruit and daily fruit we can use to check ourselves by can be the fruit we produce not at work, not at church, not in social circles, but at home with our wives, husbands, daughters, sons, moms, and dads. What are we doing at home to show our true fruit? What fruit did I produce at home today and have I produced this week? Maybe we should have some candid conversations and pay attention to the cutting truth that is communicated in arguments. That, in many cases, is when we realize the real fruit. When it’s bad, don’t run to isolation and withdraw. That’s what Satan wants you to do. Instead, make sure your alignment is good. Reset. Address the ball again. Don’t be quick to anger. Be quick to listen. Don’t be selfish. Consider others more than you consider yourself. Don’t be unkind or harsh. Be kind and gentle, quick to understand!

It’s easier said than done, I know. Make sure you have some cues from God’s word to help you line up properly. The Bible is powerful and very helpful.

I hope you are encouraged to run after God and seek Jesus and ask for the Holy Spirit. Do this by reading the Bible and praying daily.

Be encouraged!

Intend to Live

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