Monday, August 21, 2017

August 21, 2017 - What Would Your Nickname Be?

Last week I mentioned people with “alligator mouths”; this week the news will be full of stories about two guys with two of the biggest mouths around… They both are so loud and brash that the fight they are scheduled to have is more villain vs. villain than good vs. bad.

If you pay attention to the sports world at all you know I am talking about the upcoming fight between Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. and Conor “The Notorious” McGregor. McGregor, the brash Irishman, is fighting in his first professional boxing match (although he has fought professionally in MMA very successfully. Mayweather is 49-0-0 in his illustrious boxing career but does have some age on him… but this guy hasn’t even had many close fights because he is so good. Most boxing experts give McGregor almost zero chance of winning; I even heard one state that he didn’t think he would land one clean shot on Mayweather. The thinking is that McGregor’s only shot is that his power and awkward style may allow him to land that one lucky shot that will bring “Money” down…

So what about Mayweather, why do people want to see him go down so badly that they will pay ridiculous prices for what appears will be a very lopsided boxing contest? The reason is that in spite of how brash McGregor is, Mayweather’s career has been built on being the villain. This guy wasn’t even a main draw for much of his career; nut until he fought a “good guy” in Oscar De La Hoya back in 2007. Since then it has been about money and fame. In fact, in one fight he knocked a guy out when the guy was apologizing to him with his hands down… it was truly a despicable display of sportsmanship, but within the rules since the round was live. (But when talking ethically it was cheating!) Mayweather has truly built his fortune on having a bad name…

Proverbs 22:1 has something to say about names: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold.”

Proverbs 21:6 states: “Getting treasures by a lying tongue (unethically) is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death.” Or check out the way that The Message states it: “Make it to the top by lying and cheating; get paid with smoke and promotion----to death!”

Bottom line is that Mayweather has made, and continues to make, an enormous amount of money in the boxing/entertainment world; yet what will all of that mean when he can no longer go in the ring and is seeking peace and contentment?

What about you? When people hear your name, is it a “good” one? What would your nickname be? Is your life characterized by selfishness or by integrity? (The prioritizing or pursuit of riches in one’s life is a sure sign of selfishness.)

Make a good name your priority! Maybe a nickname like “The Giver” or “The Servant” would be a good one…

Monday, August 14, 2017

August 14, 2017 - Alligator Mouth Mosquito Butt

Tonight, I was at a rehearsal for a new worship team we have called ROAR (Rely On And Rejoice.) As I shared a devotion with them we discussed the idea of being heard… (our school mascot is the Lions and a lion’s roar can be heard up to 5 miles away.) And I got to sharing about the idea of what bragging should sound like as a believer…

 In the sports world I spend so much time in, it is common to hear players roar about themselves; and to be honest I probably did my share when I thought I was good… And I am not offended by someone that is proud of the work he has put in; I just want the guy talking to be able to back it up. (In reality, often the talkers have alligator mouths but mosquito butts… they can’t back up the bragging.)

Anyway, back to what I shared tonight with ROAR: It is not wrong for a believer to be a bit braggadocios. Some of you may be already checking out on me, saying that is pride. Yes, it is pride and not all pride is wrong. What matters is what you are proud of, or more importantly who you are bragging about.

Our lives should be characterized by praising our great God! He is worthy of our praise! He is worth bragging about! My victories are a result of His goodness working in and through me!

To quote the philosopher Katy Perry, “You’re gonna hear me roar!”

And God always lives up to the hype!

I love reading the Psalms as God gets bragged about!

I love reading Paul’s words to the Galatians: “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (6:14)

What if we bragged as much (or more) about God as we do ourselves? Or our favorite players? Or our favorite musicians? Actors? Etc…

“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable.” (Psalm 145:3)

“Men shall speak of the might of your awesome acts, and I will declare Your greatness.” (Psalm 145:6)