“Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded (self-controlled). In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness (integrity), gravity (dignity), sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part (an opponent) may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”Titus 2:6-8
I was a senior in high school when my best friend had a grand idea. By that time, I was kicked out of the school we both attended, but he still remained and decided to ask Rebekah a question that would make my day. He playfully asked her if she would ever go on a date with me and to his surprise, she said yes she would. He told me this, and I was so excited as I thought she had totally forgotten about me. He told me she would be at her sister’s Miss Teen Arizona pageant, so I made plans to attend as well so that I could formally ask her out on a date.
I showed up to the pageant, excited to see Rebekah but nervous to ask her the big question. I mustered up the courage to finally ask her out on a date and, as I dared to hope, she responded to my question with a yes. I was thrilled but there was one more hurdle for me to jump over, as my dad required me to ask her dad. I dreaded this, but as instructed, I attended their Sunday night service and waited for it to end so I could approach Rebekah’s dad. I made my way to his office and he asked me what he could do for me. I asked him if I could take his daughter out for a date, and he responded, “Rebekah, right?” Rebekah has three other sisters, so I guess this was an appropriate question, but it was quite humorous to me at the time.
He told me I could take her on a date, and I was excited to show Rebekah a good time and pull out all the stops. We were not dating at the time, but I hoped this date would change how she felt about me. I was daydreaming about this date when I got a call from Rebekah’s dad. He told me Rebekah had gotten into trouble and would not be able to go on the date for several months as she was grounded. I was bummed at the news but appreciated that he called to tell me. I asked if it was no date forever or just for now, and he said I could still take her out but would have to wait until she was done with her grounding.
I impatiently waited the several months and called her up to reschedule the date, but she gave me some bad news. She told me her mom had heard rumors about me, and she was no longer able to go out with me. Her younger brother had told her mom of some of my antics, and I was quite impressed with the rumors as some were not even true. I was no angel for sure, but I certainly was not Al Capone. I really had no leg to stand, though, on as I was far from guiltless. I was not self-controlled and I was not known for good works. I had developed a reputation that allowed evil to be spoken of me as my actions were not pleasing to God. I was not what I should have been, and it cost me a date with my future wife.
I praise God for how He patiently brings me along in the sanctification process. I wrote next to this verse in my Bible, “A good thing to remember always. God, please help me.” I ask God to help me to be the man He desires me to be, and to have a testimony not riddled with sin, but one that brings honor and glory to Him.
Where are you today friend? What do others say about you? Do people speak evil of you? What would your coworkers say about you? Do they see you as a light in the workplace? What would your family say about you? May our lifestyle and testimony please God, and may our life bring honor and glory to our Heavenly Father. Matthew 5:16 states, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Stay in the Fight!