When you have been kicked in the teeth, when
the biggest bully in town decides that he will show who he is
by kicking dust in your face, what can you do?
There were three brothers, so the story goes, raised in
one home. Though all were born at one time, triplets, so
to speak, you would not know it.
The had a rough father, not well trained in discipline.
One brother, Tim, was small and insignificant. He could
be easily picked on. Dan was medium build, and stubborn
as a mule. Josh was large, and a match for any man.
Now you would think that Tim would be the one who blamed
the world for his troubles. But something happened one
summer at camp. He was about fifteen, in the novice leader
program. An older man took him under his wing, loved him,
and poured his life into him.
Tim realized that he was valued to God. Suddenly, Tim
could stand up to any man. Yet he had a gentleness of
spirit. He could be firm, yet loving. Not to say that he
never made mistakes. He made lots of them, but he learned
to admit his errors and say he was sorry, without being
bowed down with guilt.
Now of his two brothers, Dan was the one who got into the
most trouble. At an earlier age, Dan had decided he would
never get walked on again. No longer would he trust anyone.
The pain was too great.
And so Dan became the bully, trying to push everyone around.
But after this fifteenth summer, he couldn't push Tim.
You see, Tim had met someone else: The one who is described
in the words, "although he existed in the form of God, he
did not look at equality with God as a thing to be grasped,
but emptied himself, ... being made in the likeness of men,
humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death."
see footnote one
So Tim knew an inner strength. He let the life of Jesus flow
into his own. And in so doing, he learned to forgive his
enemies, to see that they were just humans such as himself.
Dan tried to push everyone around. And the only one he could
push was Josh, who felt he needed to take the pushing for
everyone. Poor Josh. He felt it was his role to be the
You see, it is only when we yield ourselves fully to God's
love, that we can find our true stature in life. Only when
we let go and let God teach us, that we can become better
than we are. And only God can remake us into His image.
It is no accident of fate what we become. It is our own
decisions in the prime of our youth, that will take us
either to heaven or away from there.
Yet, really it is a miracle of grace when any one of us
is gotten ahold of by God. The only thing we can decide is
which way we will go. It is only God who can take us and
make us after His image, into the fullness of His love.
But that is where we will find true personal growth.
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