Recently I was looking over this poem I had written several years ago when reading through the book of James. My inspiration for this poem came from chapter 1 verses 22-25. Let's take a moment to review this challenging passage of scripture.
"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
The word of God is like a mirror. It reveals the imperfections in our lives and hidden secrets of our hearts, convicting us of what we have done wrong, and challenging us to do what is right. Will we change or will we continue on in our selfish ways? On Sunday, our pastor's message was about judging others. Often we get so caught up in the problem that someone else has that we are blind to a similar problem in our own lives. We need to change ourselves before we can change others.
This reminds me of a conversation about horses I had with a friend the other day. I concluded that we need to change ourselves before we change our horses. Many of the problems I have with my horses are because of me. By allowing my horse to do an undesirable behavior, I'm teaching my horse to continue doing the wrong thing. If I teach my horse how I expect it to behave, the undesirable behavior will disappear. For example when I was young and naive in my horsemanship skills, my horses had the problem of sneaking out the gate when I would open it. In reality, I had the problem of letting my horses stand too close to the gate when I opened it. Once I got in the habit of chasing the horses away from the open gateway when I entered and exited, they began to walk away from the gate when it was opened. My horses have had the problem of getting nervous when I ride them out in the pasture while being comfortable at home. The real problem is I feel comfortable at home and nervous out in the pasture. I also have the problem of riding them casually around the yard and making them work out in the pasture when they acted up. As I learn to be comfortable and controlled by challenging myself to ride my horses in various locations and making work and casual riding something I do equally wherever I ride, my horse's problems are continuing to diminish. This mindset has helped me to view problems differently. It's helped me to look at challenges as "what can I do differently?" rather than "what can they do differently?" Horses are a mirror of ourselves. If we're nervous, inconsistent, and insecure, our horses may exhibit those characteristics as well.
My challenge for those with horses: Get out there and start changing your problems with horses, one step at a time!
My challenge for all of us: Desire to be more like Christ. Ask Jesus to help you be more like Him.
Now, Go! Find the Godly character traits you are lacking, be constantly aware of them, and start changing your behavior! If you're struggling to change, ask someone to remind you.
I want to be humble here and share some of the challenges I'm seeking to change in my life. I ask those of you reading this to hold me be accountable for these areas in my life. Feel free to write me and ask me what steps I am taking to change.
Pray that I would:
Be orderly with my time and activities.
Be consistent in what I say and do--mean what I say and do what I say I will do.
Not become bitter about other people's problems.
Be diligent in praying daily.