Excel in Communication
When I was in fourth grade a new kid moved into the neighborhood. His dad was the new pastor at the Nazarene Church. We quickly hit it off and became the best of friends. We played every sport imaginable, swam in the pool, giggled about girls, and told each other everything. It was a sad day for me when he moved away at the end of 7th grade. Do you have a close and trusted friend that you rely on? Do you communicate your hopes, dreams, and fears with that trusted friend? The following article from All Pro Dad concludes with a challenge. The challenge is for that close and trusted friend to hold you accountable to something, but first you’ll have to communicate what that is.
What is the Enemy of Man?
The surest way to defeat and failure is by the development of bad habits. Wherever it is we find trouble in our lives, there is sure to be a detrimental root cause that stems from the common enemies we all face. No man is immune to this ongoing battle, but the wisest will seek to identify his enemy and learn of it in order to conquer the effect it has had. All aspects of our lives from our marriages, families, careers, and friendships are constantly under attack from the creeping influence of the enemy of man.
Albert Einstein said, “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” Being a man of value requires the highest quality of character traits such as honesty, loyalty, a giving nature, and a loving heart. It also requires discipline, righteous determination, and unselfishness. Those traits have counterparts on the opposite side, and the world is forever in a tussle between the two for the hearts and minds of man.”
Perhaps you are addicted to porn. Maybe your marriage is falling apart and you don’t know how to save it. For some their finances are spinning out of control and they are on the way to ruin. Whatever it is that is afflicting you at the time of this reading, the cause can be found in the following list, and your pathway out of the dark can also be found in that knowledge.
Pride – I was a child when our culture switched to what they labeled the “Me Generation.” I remember it well and it seemed weird then and it’s even weirder now. Self-posturing and self-focused people are taught to live behind facades they create. The results of that is a culture of adult children lacking the skills of conflict resolution, moral fortitude, and ability to commit to higher callings.
Envy – Envy is the tool that is used to manipulate the people of the world. We are never satisfied with our own portion. Not our jobs, our marriages, our families…our entire existence. Envy tells us that as long as somebody else has it better, ours will never fully suffice.
Gluttony – Boiled down, gluttony is the lack of self-control born from insecurities and fears. In place of facing the actual issues at hand, we attempt to fill those voids with copious amounts of stuff – whatever that may be for each individual man. Gluttonous behavior builds false security that blinds and distorts the way forward. However, saying no to the excess gives us room to deal with our pain, which is an important step towards wholehearted living.
Lust – In each of our hearts and minds is lust, destroying our souls like the swing of a wrecking ball. Men are bombarded constantly by the stimuli of lust. The first look we are not responsible for because it is unavoidable. The thoughts and feelings that we allow to follow, and many times nurture, is lust. We are created to love, and love is about giving yourself to another. Lust is taking from another for selfish desire.
Anger – Anger can cause a lot of damage. The small child crying in the hallway as their parents rage against each other. The wife afraid to go home because of what her husband will do to her. The man who faces the wrath of a bitter woman. Anger without self-control is like a tank running through a straw house.
Greed – All of the clichés about money apply here and we all know them well. Money is rightly called a “necessary evil.” There is no man reading this (or writing it) that doesn’t need money. Our choice is in the priority we place upon it, and the grip of control it holds over us. True wealth is never gained from greed.
Sloth – Laziness in both our physical and spiritual lives simply leads us to bad places in each and every case. Bad health, depression, unfulfilled potential…the list is endless. Get up, put your pants on, and live the day. Sloth is easily conquered by determination.
Challenge: Get together with a close and trusted friend and confess a destructive bad habit. Ask for accountability help in fighting it. ~ All Pro Dad
Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
“Dear Lord and Heavenly Father, thank you for friends who can hold us accountable. Help us to feel safe enough to communicate the struggles and bad habits that is our enemy. Help us to grow spiritually mature as we sharpen each other. It’s in Jesus name I pray, Amen.”