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When Courage Falls Short of the Demands of Reality

I love “The Purpose-Driven Life”. I dig the “Wagner-Houts Modified Spiritual Gifts Inventory”. There’s not a much more clear tool than the DISC Profile. And when it comes to bare-bones personality information, nothing beats the MMPI for depth of definition.

As good as all of that is, there is no better tool than the Bible to define who we are. I think most reading this blog would agree. When our faith in who we are in God’s eyes meets the reality of daily life, if we’re honest, we know we often fall way short.

Let me drive this painfully home. I want to be the best husband I can be in all practical ways possible. I want to be Colleen’s knight in shining armor who sweeps her off her feet to save the day. She struggles with a 12 year diagnosis of Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis. You’d never know it if you met her becasue she does her best (and then some) to not let it stop her.

Last weekend, her shoulder froze for no apparent reason. That’s just life for her. Jump to tonight, when she gets home from her job teaching Certified Nurse’s Assistants at our local Adult School. She has planned a Jafra party for our house tomorrow night. The tile floor (lots of it) needs to be mopped.

Can you see it? The knight in shining armor? Mr. Clean with broom and mop in hand to save the day? Not in the least! In my dreams! Instead, here was my selfishness rearing its ugly head. (Hear the whine….) “I hate mopping this floor!”

What does that have to do with figuring out who you are? Well, beyond all the education and self-discovery comes the hard work of discipleship. And it’s deeper than just applying a few Scripture, although that’s helpful. It is coming to terms with who I really am and having the integrity to have courage that meets the demands of my reality. (That’s classic Henry Cloud & John Towsend, in case you’re wondering.)

The path of discipleship, becoming like Christ, Whose image we were created in from the beginning, is hard work, friends. Inherent in it is getting to know you. The REAL you. That includes your motivations (WHY you do what you do), your intentions (WHERE you desire to go with what you do), and your actions (HOW you do what you do to get where you’re going). And those are deep issues.

For me, tonight, it was “will I steer clear of the thing I don’t want, or even HATE, to do for the sake of my own comfort, or will I serve my wife, my kids, and our family by putting me aside?

When’s the last time you had to face this dilemma? At home OR at work/ministry?


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