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devotional renewal

Day 01: The Reckoning

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” — 1 Corinthians 13:11 

Today is a day of reckoning. You started by opening this thing your wife gave you, and that’s all well and good, but you need to know that this isn’t some feel good, kumbaya, cry until it hurts, let’s sugarcoat everything devotional. You will cry, but hopefully from repentance. You will laugh, but hopefully because that one joke is funny. But the number one thing I want you to do is: commit.

This is a call to men, to be men. And yes, I start with myself. Who do you think this was written to in the first place?

As I grew up I was intent on being the most ridiculous person in the room, I wanted to be crazy, free, loud, obnoxious. My family may argue that I am still this way.

And so it was until I got the news my parents were getting separated. That day I learned what compartmentalization of the mind was. I pushed down my feelings and told myself I needed to grow the hell up. Be a man I told myself at the ripe old age of 11. I became hard, moody, stoic, grumpy, and most of all angry.

In my mind I was acting “like a man”, but I was simply a frightened little boy who needed to be loved. A little boy who desperately needed a father to talk to him, not at him. A frightened son looking for the tenderness of a mother, but too afraid to put down walls because, for the meantime, he was the “man of the house”.

I thought I was acting like an adult, because I had rage and anger brewing in my heart. Darkness and fear directing my personality. But it was all a lie. I was still a child, long into my teens and early adulthood.

Even though Jesus plucked me out of obscurity at 13, I held onto my hurt like a child with a toy they don’t want to surrender. It brought odd comfort and sanctuary—but as I leaned into Jesus, my savior and my rock I heard things like: “Draw unto me and I will give you strength.”, “Lean not on your understanding” and “Do not fear for I am with you”.

As I have grown and God has gifted me my own family, I have daily battled with allowing my childish thoughts to pull me back in. As a bible teacher and mentor I know (in my mind) all the things I need to do to fight the mental battle raging.

But it comes down to understanding the dichotomy of being a child. You see, as a child I spoke like a child, thought like a child, I reasoned like one, but I also had faith as one. Jesus says that we must have the faith of a child, but rebukes speaking, thinking and reasoning as one. Men, we must have the “mind of Christ” — and in the case of true believers of Jesus Christ and the Gospel, we actually have been gifted His Mind!

It’s time for a reckoning. It’s time to determine today whether you will continue to be the child or step out and be God’s man. Commit 66 days to your own renewal.

Let’s grow up and stop acting like children. Let’s grab hold of the banner of the most high and seek after purity and righteousness. Our God is holy and just and has called us after His name. Let’s rise up and cleanse the lands of our hearts and minds. Let’s think on purity, righteousness, and justice, and do them! Our thoughts lead to feelings, and they lead to action. Take out the trash Christian. For the Lord dwells in the midst of his people.