The Bulldog and the Skunk (article)
Article 20 of 30 from the Ponder This - 2001 series
May 2001 – THE BULLDOG AND THE SKUNK by Ray Pritchard In last Sunday’s sermon I mentioned that my friend Dennis Baker had told me years ago that not all hills are worth dying on. Sometimes we fight over things that dont really matter and end up wasting lots of time and emotional energy with very little to show for it. One of the secrets to a successful life is learning over time which hills matter and which ones dont. Every great general knows that you have to pick your battles carefully. You cant fight over every hill or youll end up winning the battle but losing the war. I suppose there is no way to learn this lesson easily. When we are young, everything seems important, vital, crucial, and non-negotiable. As we get older, we learn that many things that once occupied our time dont seem to matter much in the long run. Perhaps it is a blessing that comes with the aging process. At a certain point in life, you simply dont have the time or strength or energy to get involved in every little squabble. So you decide what matters and what doesnt, and if you are like most people, you end up with a relatively short list of things that matter and a much longer list of things that dont. This week a friend passed along a saying that seems very much on point. A bulldog can beat a skunk, but is it worth the fight? If were laying down bets, Ill put my money on the bulldog every time. But hell end up smelling like a skunk even if he wins. What is the point of all this? My mind is drawn to the words of David in Psalm 37:7, Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Fret is an old English word that speaks of an unsettled heart. The fretful believer is tossed and turned by circumstances he cannot control. Gods solution is simple: 1) Be still before the Lord. That means what it says. Dont take matters into your own hands. 2) Wait patiently for him. Give God time to work. Chuck Swindoll says that waiting is the hardest discipline of the Christian life. I agree wholeheartedly. We live in a can-do society where the people who get ahead are those who make it happen no matter what it takes. Heres a simple application. When you are churning on the inside about things you cant control, dont give in to the temptation to take matters in your own hands. Get alone with God and do nothing. Thats right. Just do nothing. Wait on him. Or you can be like a bulldog and jump into the fray. But even if you win the battle, you may end up smelling like a skunk.
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