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Tag Archives: confrontation

You’ll Never Know Unless You Try

When I was younger, I thought I was better than I actually was.  I would talk smack, emotionally annoy opponents and wouldn’t back down from a confrontation.  Over time I have mellowed, learned the importance of humility and found contentment in my retirement from sports.  Yet, I’m thankful that I wasn’t afraid to fail as a professional golfer.

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come, 1 Timothy 4:8.

As I step away from competition, my son James faces a similar dilemma.  Despite being a state champion pole vaulter and 3 time all conference golfer, playing division one sports in college is a whole new ball game.  Thus, he has to decide do I risk embarrassment, humiliation or do I play it safe by avoiding disappointment?  My message to him is you’ll never know unless you try.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me, Philippians 3:12.

In my first golf mini-tour event, I shot 48 on the front nine, shaking so badly it was hard to swing a club.  I could have hung my head, quit or withdrawn from this competition.  Yet, I battled, birdieing the 10th, finding my rhythm on the back nine.  I never made any money nor did I reach the P.G.A. tour, but I walked away from this game knowing I did everything in my power to succeed.  Thus, whether you are my son, a friend or a stranger I meet along the road called life, you’ll never know your ultimate destiny unless you try by utilizing your God given talents.

by Jay Mankus


The Forgotten Commandment

The Veggie Tales Video Series was created to introduce key biblical principles to children in an entertaining, yet simple manner.  The Fib from Outer Space and The Rumor Weed use a spiritual superhero, Larry Boy, to address common mistakes people make in life.  While some Bible scholars may claim the writers of these videos have sinned, using Deuteronomy 4:2 as their source of condemnation, this point of view neglects the forgotten commandment.  In a rush to judgment, millions daily break the 9th commandment with one sided testimony.

The word false refers to giving information not based upon fact or truth, deliberately attempting to deceive or sway individuals toward their side of the story.  Synonyms for false include distorted, erroneous, fallacious and incorrect.  Thus, whenever anyone gossips about an event from their day, any slight exaggeration of the actual encounter is an uncivil attack against their neighbor.  In God’s eyes, this is an act of disobedience against one of God’s own creations.

As my daily devotion took me through Exodus 20, my heart cringed when the words of verse 16 struck a cord with my soul.  As a person who doesn’t like confrontation, I often find myself complaining to my wife about others instead of trying to resolve these matters.  Subsequently, I forgot the true meaning of the 9th commandment, “You shall not give false testimony about your neighbor.”  Though most of my beefs have origins of truth, the drama king inside stretches the truth, thereby leading me into sin.  May the words of James 3:1-6 serve as a reminder of mankind’s fallen nature to guard our tongues from breaking the forgotten commandment.

by Jay Mankus

Do You See What I See?

Horse trainers have discovered that using racing blinders helps a thoroughbred stay focused on the task at hand, winning a race.  Instead of directing their attention toward opponents, spectators at the track and various other distractions that exist on race day, these horses have been taught to look straight ahead by their jockeys, keeping their eyes on the finish line.  Unfortunately, a growing number of people have bought into this mindset.  Subsequently, many individuals are acting like thoroughbreds, neglecting the world around around them, blind to the dejection, fear and hurt within the souls of mankind.

Recently, I have become an expert at putting on blinders, seeing what I want to see and moving on, refusing to accept the painful reality of this life.  My self-seeking nature has led to a “what’s in it for me” attitude, like Ray Kinsella at the end of Field of Dreams, forgetting the purpose of his existence.  While I am suppose to be a light for the world, Matthew 5:13-14, I resemble a flashlight, flicking light on or off when I want.  Thus, opportunities to encourage, lend a helping hand or share your time with a person in need are lost.

In Genesis 40:6-7, Joseph, son of Israel, sets an example for the world to follow.  Unlike the average individual, oblivious to people around them, Joseph notices 2 dejected men.  Although he could have ignored their body language and facial expressions, Joseph takes advantage of their depressed state, taking a risk by asking 2 prisoners a question.  Rather than run away from confrontation, Joseph becomes a vessel for healing, at least for the cup bearer.  In response to Joseph’s actions, one must ponder, “do you see what he saw?”  Or are you too busy to slow down like the first 2 characters mentioned in the parable of the good Samaritan, Luke 10:25-37, due to a full schedule?  Open your eyes and ears on this Labor Day or else the words of John 8:47 will be proven true, sealing your eternal fate.

by Jay Mankus