Team Nike

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-11

Devotionals-2

Men seem to have an “I’ll do it alone” reputation; though in sports we see again and again that no matter how good the athlete, he can’t win alone.  It’s the same with sexual misbehaviors.  Though some sexual misbehaviors are acted upon with one or more people, at its core it’s an act resulting in isolation.  

Men also have a “win at all costs” reputation.  The Greek word Nike means, “I win.”  Though in real life, “I win” is never correct.  Even in an individual sport like golf, the golfer has a caddy and even a coach.  In real life it’s always, “we win.”  

You tell yourself again and again that you will stop, only to find yourself repeating the same acts.  As long as you isolate yourself from being part of a team, you will suffer defeat.  Even the greatest athletes need their teammates, supporting staff, and coaches to compete and win.  Winning against sexual misbehavior is no different.

It takes a lot to risk exposing your heart to others. So remember that as other men show you their hearts, they’re taking the same risk.  By doing so you develop a team mentality and as you meet together you actually become a cohesive team striving for the title.  The toughest part of this journey is starting it;  showing up the first time.  Though there will be tough times ahead, once you start, the butterflies will be gone and you won’t have to try and stand alone.

The Scripture above makes total sense.  We do better when we are part of a team that is striving for the same goal.  Living life free of sexual misbehavior is a good goal to work towards.

Today focus on clearing your schedule for the next Clean Heart for Men meeting and making a point to be there.  You may even want to take it one step further and send an email to a friend or to Scott (Scott@10towns.tv) stating your decision to attend the next meeting on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.     

Focus on Your Focus

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.  Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.

(Proverbs 4:23-27, NLT)

Devotionals-2“I didn’t mean for this to happen!”  Sound familiar?  Most of the time when we get ourselves into bad situations, we typically did not plan for the repercussions of our actions.  Sometimes we even started out with good intentions but ended up in a pit of despair.   

The wisdom found in this Proverb tells us to guard our hearts for our hearts determine the direction of our lives.  

For those of you who like checklists, this bit of wisdom from Proverbs gives us just that. This list reflecting a Clean Heart for Men focus is as follows:

  • Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech.  Avoid any sensual or sexual talk with or about any woman.  When you talk sexually with your wife, typically that is not perverse or corrupt.  There are certain conversations that a man should not have with other women.  Those conversations only open the door for poor decisions.  This also means no sexting, or provocative emails as well.  Avoid ALL perverse talk.
  • Fix your eyes on what lies before you. Determine your focus!  Your focus should be to live a life of sexual integrity, to be faithful to your wife, to live a life pleasing to God.
  • Mark out a straight path for your feet.  Make a plan for how you will remain fixed on that goal.  This may include attending Clean Heart, developing a few friendships with men who are mature in the Christian Faith, being involved in a church community, reading your Bible everyday, etc.
  • Stay on the Safe Path.  Just like a highway has signs letting you know you are still on the right road, you must learn the signs that let you know you are on the right path for your determined focus.   How will you know if you are veering off the path of integrity?  You should have some indicators like rumble strips that grab your attention and bring you back on the safe path.
  • Don’t get sidetracked.  This is why we are to guard our hearts and watch our conversations.  We can be so easily distracted and before we realize it our focus is no longer fixed on the right goal and our feet get tripped up and we fall.
  • Keep your feet from following evil.  Finally don’t let your feet take you anywhere in which you could stumble and fall.  Don’t walk to or drive to a place that you know or suspect to have evil opportunities.  If you’re married, do not go to a “singles” event; if you’re driving alone stay away from the “red light” districts; and I would also say don’t let your hands take you to the wrong websites.

Today focus on your focus.  Determine the correct goal and then start walking toward that goal.  Just like a horse with blinders on, keep your gaze from anything other than your goal.  Guard your Heart!