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WHY DO YOU MAKE LIFE SO HARD?

 

By Coach Dave Daubenmire
January 2, 2014
NewsWithViews.com

Those are some of the last words that I ever spoke to my friend Bob.

I had known him for about a dozen years and I don't know if I have ever met a more explosive personality than my good buddy. He had a a zeal for the Lord, and a greater love of God's Word than any man I had ever been around.

Instead of watching TV as most American men do, he actually spent his spare time sitting on the couch studying the Bible. I learned a very valuable technique from him that I apply when I do my own studies.

“Coach,” he would scold me. “These scriptural references that you see listed at the bottom of of a verse are important. When you read the Bible you should always read the parallel verses that are included. They will give you a greater understanding of the meaning of what is being said. The footnotes are very important.”

Bob taught me that, and I use it regularly as I study the Word.

But Bob was an enigma. Although he could quote the Word, exegete the Word, and apply the Word, Bob had a very difficult time living the Word. He knew that he was not good at living it. It used to haunt him that his failure to follow it often caused him to find himself in a ditch.

“Come on Bob.” I chided him the last time I saw him. “Your life wouldn't be so complicated if you simply followed the way that you know you should go. You know what the right choice is. You know the right decision to make. Why don't you follow what you know will work? Why do you make life so hard?”

A week later I was speaking at his funeral...

Why is doing the right thing so hard? Why do most people, just as Bob did, make life so complicated?

Flip Wilson made a career out of saying “the Devil made me do it.” But the sad truth is that it is rarely the Devil that makes us do it. We like to use him as a scapegoat. If we were to be honest with ourselves most of us find that the mess we are in is because WE made ourselves do it.

Actually, life is pretty simple. If we are smart enough to apply a few set of basic principles most of our problems would disappear.

Yep...life is simple, but living it isn't easy.

Look around at what is currently passing as morality in America and you will begin to understand what I am trying to say. Is it OK if I coach you a little bit today...coach me...all of us...with a simple game plan?

Like my buddy Bob, it is sometimes easier to shovel out the advice, than it is to actually live it. But that can't be our excuse. Don't just read and apply the rules...but follow them...it makes all the difference.

Spend an afternoon at your local courthouse. I did that a few months ago. You will see the wrecked lives of those who have decided to make life harder than it needs to be. Law-breaking is a booming business...and the Devil didn't make any of them do what they did.

In fact, stop for a minute and think about the latest mess you found yourself in. Chances are pretty good that you, or someone you trusted, did something that should not have done. Your own behavior, and decisions, have made life a lot harder for you and those connected to you.

No man is an island...the waves erode us all.

Here are a few guidelines. They are simple to understand, but hard to follow.

Speak the truth. Become known as a person who's word is his bond. Even when you find yourself in a difficult situation the safest and most likely way to navigate your way to the shore is by simply telling the truth. Lying is insidious. It breaks down trust between individuals and causes resentment among the one who has been wronged. Dishonesty is a trait that is hard for others to forget. Honesty is remembered in much the same way.

One of my hobbies is refereeing high school basketball. In my earliest days, in a very big game with a packed house I “anticipated” a foul and made the call a split-second before it actually occurred...except it didn't occur. A last nano-second contortion by the defender avoided the contact, but my whistle had already sounded and play had stopped. The reaction of the crowd was rattling the roof as I made my way to report the foul to the official scorer.

As I passed by, the Coach was screaming at the top of his lungs at me...except I couldn't hear what he was saying over the roar and catcalls of the crowd. I didn't need to hear him. I knew I had blown the call.

I walked up to him, looked him in the eye and yelled what only he and I could hear, “I blew it OK? I blew it. But I can't put the air back in my whistle and if I change my call now I won't get out of here alive!”

Startled by my honesty he calmed down and barked back, “OK, that's all I wanted to hear.”

Years later he told a friend of mine that I was the most honest referee he had ever seen and that it was my integrity that made me a good official.

Admit mistakes. Be honest. Speak the truth. Ultimately, that is what people remember.

Don't take what doesn't belong to you. This is so simple but seems so hard to follow. Greed, lust, and coveting are the tripods upon which all dishonesty sits. Always remember that something that does not belong to you belongs to another. Taking what does not belong to you will lead to collateral damage. Don't take another man's wife. Don't steal a young woman's virtue. Don't rob a child of his innocence. Don't steal while cheating in cards, sports, or business. Even though you do not get caught does not mean no damage was done. Cheating is robbery, taking by dishonest gain what does not rightly belong to you. Don't steal time from your wife and family. Time is the best investment. Invest in the things that matter most.

I'll never forget what a friend of mine said to me one day about a mutual acquaintance that we had. I was considering hiring him to be part of my coaching staff. “I would never trust him. He cheats at golf.” He warned me. Small things reveal great fractures in character.

Be quick to forgive. It is the only way to truly heal. Notice I didn't say forget...forgetting is almost supernatural, but anger, resentment, and bitterness are poisonous. Holding a grudge is a self-inflicted wounding. Vengeance is the domain of the Lord. Storing up a pot of boiling anger does nothing to the one who has made you angry. In most cases anger is a reaction to thievery. Something has been stolen from you...respect...peace...trust...and the loss is painful. But all stealing causes injury to the victim. More peace will flood into your life from forgiveness than any other thing I can think of. Anger will make you sick. Don't let bitterness take root in your heart. Forgiveness is the pressure valve for the soul.

Jesus said “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” I say forgive them even if they know what they did. Forgiveness releases you from prison...it drains the puss of a poisoned heart. Let the Lord deal with the one who wronged you.

Develop a life style of giving. It is the greatest expression of love. God is most alive when you take something that belongs to you and you freely give it to another. Unfortunately, for most Christians, giving has become duty. Tithing is law and most Christians tithe because they believe that God commanded the tithe. Tithing is legalism. Doing something because you are required to does not exhibit free will. Realize nothing you own belongs to you.

Jesus said, “freely you have received, freely give.” He didn't say “tithe”...He said give. Michele and I give...we no longer tithe. We find ourselves giving more that way. We donate to many different ministries...and individuals. There is nothing more exhilarating than giving to a friend in need. We listen to the Lord. He guides us to those in need. Jesus told us that it is better “to give than it is to receive.”

Why is that? Because there is a Spiritual transfer that occurs when you help your brother “bear his burden.” Reaching in your wallet or writing a check to a brother who has a need is far more Christ-like than dutifully giving your 10% membership dues to your local church. Look around you. Find a family who is struggling...a father of five who works his tail off..write them a check. Pay his mortgage for him this Christmas season. It will be the highlight of your, and his, holidays.

I remember sitting in a leadership seminar a few years ago when the topic came up What is the most enjoyable emotion? One man answered “joy.” Another said “happiness.” But one hearty, bearded old fellow said “relief.”

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Wow, I thought. Relief...what a feeling it is when your prayer has been answered and everything turns out all right. Relief.

Giving brings relief. You can be the answer to someone's prayer right now. How do you spell relief? G-I-V-E. Freely give. Give till it hurts. The one that you give to will never forget. They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Especially at this time...at this season...you can bring relief. Tell your pastor that you are giving your tithe someplace else this month. His reaction will tell you a lot about his heart.

It is simple, but it isn't easy. Our obedience ultimately makes others happier.

Let's stop making life so hard.

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Do you think like a Christian or a humanist? Did the Founders really separate Church and State? Is Judicial tyranny ruining America? Check out these great teachings by the Coach

2014 Dave Daubenmire - All Rights Reserved

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Coach Dave Daubenmire, founder and President of Pass The Salt Ministries www.ptsalt.com and Minutemen United www.minutemenunited.org, is host of the high octane Pass The Salt radio show heard in Columbus, Ohio.

In 1999 Coach Daubenmire was sued by the ACLU for praying with his teams while coaching high school in Ohio. He now spends his energy fighting for Christian principles in the public domain.

E-Mail: coach@ptsalt.com


 

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Instead of watching TV as most American men do, he actually spent his spare time sitting on the couch studying the Bible. I learned a very valuable technique from him that I apply when I do my own studies.