People who want to be successful are motivated to be better. That is what drives excellence. We push the envelope of what society says the norm is and try to go places no one has gone before us. This mindset drives businesses to be at the top of their industry, have increases in technological advancements and way back in the summer of ’69, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first men to step foot on the moon. By the way if Bryan Adams is now playing in your head, you are not alone. Definitely one of the best songs from the 80’s.
The push to be the best version of yourself takes times and does have a cost. The motivation behind it is important. What price are you willing to pay to get there? What loved ones are left in the wake of your “success”? You need to ask yourself these hard questions as you strive to the top. Maybe a more important question to ask is this- Who has a direct effect on you and the decisions you make? Society tells us that we should be one way, while Christ shows us another.
Back in May of 2014 I was the keynote speaker for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes breakfast at the NAIA College World Series up in Lewiston, Idaho. The title of my message was “Real Manhood” and I spoke about the difference between what society says we should be as men, versus what Christ does. I broke the ice by asking the players “what are some things that are hard to do and look manly”. My examples were sipping out of a straw, putting on lip balm and placing suntan lotion on your buddies’ back while at the beach. Try them in the mirror; it’s nearly impossible to do.
A real man provides, praises and prays with his family. The provision piece is monetary, but also spending time with them. Choosing time with your family will cause you to use one of the most powerful words in the English language- NO. When you choose this word, you are making a stand for what you believe is right and best for you and your loved ones. By praising them you are always looking for the good in a situation while still using it as a learning experience. Praying with them shows that you are putting God first in your life and that spending time with Him is a priority.
Kids are Always Watching
I have been told that our kids are always listening to and watching us. I didn’t ever really believe it until I became a Dad and saw it first-hand with my own sons. It really sucks when they copy the bad stuff we do, like using curse words. Of course, that’s only when they copy their Mom. Just kidding honey. She reads this too. Think back to that old commercial from the ‘80s when the son is caught smoking weed and the Dad flips out on him. What is the kid’s response? “I learned it from watching you!” That’s a double mike drop and punch in the balls all at the same time. Yes, they are always watching, the good and the bad.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it..”Proverbs 22:6, ESV
I thought about this the other day when I was walking my hound dog out in the neighborhood across the street. Along the way a young boy came up beside me while he was being drug by his dog. Yeah, this dog was walking him. He was wearing AirPods and listening to music so he couldn’t really hear me clearly. I asked him how old he was and also made a comment that I had two boys around ten years old. He must have thought I asked him if he was ten because his response was hilarious. He said, “Yeah I look ten, but I’m only nine. I’m in the 90th percentile for my age.” What nine-year old says that?
Let’s go a little deeper into little man’s response. That is a badge of honor for him. He is big! It goes to show you that at the youngest of ages we are already starting to judge ourselves based upon the measuring stick of others. It is imperative as men that we understand what defines us. It is not our height, weight, body fat percentage, car we drive, house we live in or even our career. It is Jesus Christ who lives inside of us. I tell people all the time that I am a Christian who coaches baseball, not a baseball coach who is a Christian. We always need to put Christ first and prioritize our lives from there.
Here are some things to think about this week and consider applying to your life:
- Prioritize your life with Christ being first and let your faith in Him define who you are, not your career.
- When you introduce yourself to someone new, talk to them about your family before you discuss what you do for a living.
- Ask yourself if you are spending enough time with your family. You will not get these years back.
- Have set work times and resist the temptation to check the emails on your phone when you are home.
- Give the people you love your entire focus when you are with them. This will make them know they are important to you.
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