The recent public problems of star athletes have made me angry, disappointed and cautious. Angry because I believe that a man should never physically or mentally abuse a woman, no matter what that the woman has done. While I believe in discipline, we should never discipline in anger because anger opens the door to abuse. I am disappointed by the reactions of the public to these men. We tend to forget that we are products of our environment; the fact that I am a super star athlete making millions of dollars does not mean that I am equipped to handle all of life’s crises. I am not making excuses, but where is the compassion and the belief that everyone deserves a second chance, and the opportunity to learn from one’s mistake?
I am cautious because what happened to these athletes could very well happen to all of us; none of us know how we will react in a moment of crisis or anger. Here are words of wisdom from Solomon, which I hope will help you guard against some of life’s pit falls:
“Like a muddied fountain and a polluted spring is a righteous man who yields, falls down, and compromises his integrity before the wicked. It is not good to eat much honey; so for men to seek glory, their own glory, causes suffering and is not glory. He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls.”
Proverbs 25:26-28 (AMP)
Solomon shares three powerful life changing principles that should help any Spiritual Ironman or anyone who needs to build a strong foundation, which will help you navigate difficult and trying times.
The first principle: Never Compromise You Integrity
To compromise morally, mentally or socially is to accept or allow standards that are lower than is desirable. The Word of God is the moral standard we all try to live by. Anytime we allow ourselves to fall below that standard we compromise or muddy and pollute the pure waters of God’s standards. When these standards are polluted, people don’t see the clarity of the Gospel in our lives. “Like a muddied fountain and a polluted spring is a righteous man who yields, falls down, and compromises his integrity before the wicked. (v.25) Don’t compromise your integrity.
The Second Principle: Pursuing Glory
It’s one thing to pursue glory for others, but you should never pursue your own glory. Solomon said that the pursuit of self glory will result in suffering. Your personal pursuit will result in suffering not only for you but to those who are closes to you. “So for men to seek glory, their own glory, causes suffering and is not glory.” (v.27) Pursuing self glory blinds you to the hurt you are causing to others.
The Third Principle: Self-Control
John Maxwell in his book, Developing the Leader Within, says the following:
“In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves . . . Self-discipline with all of them came first. The Greek word for self-control comes from a root word meaning ‘to grip’ or ‘take hold of.’ This word describes people who are willing to get a grip on their lives and take control of areas that will bring them success or failure.”
If you fail to take control over the areas of your life that will bring you success or failure, then you will be “like a city that is broken down and without walls.” (v.28)
Every Spiritual Ironman needs to live by these principles.
Your Iron Coach,