Monday, January 26, 2009

The Second Stripling Warrior Character Trait You Can Apply to Your Life

Last week we learned about the first stripling warrior character trait “health.” I gave you a case scenario with a girl name Cassidy who was competing to win the high jump. It was her final jump and if she cleared the bar she’d win the championship. Instead of giving you the answer, I’m going to give you two possibilities to think over.
As Cassidy’s fingers gripped tightly on her pole, she prayed for the Lord to give her the strength she’d need. She took off, feet pounding down the path; her eyes focused on the goal. Cassidy dropped the end of her vaulting pole in the box and began her swing and roll. Her extension was right on target with her legs outstretched, her shoulders down. The pole recoiled and Cassidy was suddenly propelling upwards. She turned in a spin, facing the pole, while extending her arms. She seemed to float in slow motion as her body went over and around the bar. Finally she was falling to the landing mat. Once she landed, Cassidy quickly glanced up to find that the bar remained in position.
She’d done it!
Why was Cassidy ready to receive the strength of the Lord when she needed it?
Cassidy tore down the path, feet pounding the ground. Dropping the vaulting pole in the box, she swung up, higher and higher, but her foot caught the bar knocking it to the ground. Cassidy fell to the landing mat heartbroken. Now she and Tessy were tied. They’d both have to jump again. This time Tessy handily won. And though Cassidy was disappointed in herself, she knew she’d given it her all. She went over to Tessy and congratulated her.

Even though Cassidy lost was she still strengthened by God? And if so, how? I’m not going to answer for you. I want to hear what you think.

Commit yourself to eating healthy foods and exercising. Make a weekly plan of what you’re going to eat and when you’re going to exercise. Keep a journal of your progress. You’ll be amazed at the results. Before changing your diet and starting an exercise program always check with your doctor first.
The stripling warriors were very smart. How do I know this? There’s no scripture reference that says they were smart, but as you read their story, you realize they had to be smart to survive. The stripling warriors listened to their parents and leaders, learned to have faith from their mothers, and put their trust in God. I think that was very smart of them. Granted they didn’t have an Ivy League education, but their “smarts” was more along the lines of common sense. And I would suggest they were “quick studies.” Their training for battle had to be a crash-course; therefore, they had to learn fast or die.

My son-in-law, Greg, who dressed up as a knight and fought mock battles, he’s not six-foot- five or has the muscles of a linebacker. He’s about five-foot-six and has average muscles. I have watched him many times fight men bigger than himself, and most times he won. Why? Not only was he fast, but he used common sense and studied his opponent.
Were the stripling warriors given such a chance to study their opponents? I’m sure Captain Helaman filled them in on the Lamanites’ battle tactics so they would know what to expect. But I rather doubt they were able to watch a Lamanite fight another opponent beforehand. In battle a warrior was on his own. He not only had to be healthy, he had to be smart.

You’re not fighting an enemy with a sword to the death, so how does this apply to you? Everyday in your life you are fighting a battle with Satan and you have to make smart decisions. You need to be a “quick study” of a situation and be armed with enough knowledge to make the right choice.

How can you do the best you can to learn?

Do you listen to your parents and take their advice?

Case Scenario
Dexter had always struggled in school. Not in the learning, but in getting along with his classmates and in particular wise-cracking Ethan. Dex tried to ignore him but Ethan kept on teasing and teasing until Dex couldn’t stand it and he’d up and pop him. To add insult to injure, Dexter would be the one sent to the principal’s office. He’d been there twice in the last month. What was he to do, let Ethan continue to insult him?
Dex prayed morning and night that Ethan’d leave him alone, yet the tormenting continued. Finally Dexter asked his dad why his prayers had gone unanswered. His father replied, “Maybe there’s something the Lord wants you to learn.”
Dexter thought about this. What was he supposed to learn from a person who made fun of him? Humiliation? He knew deep in his gut that wasn’t the answer. But Dexter continued to pray hoping he could learn what the Lord was trying to teach him.
One day before school, Dexter saw Ethan getting out of his father’s car. His father yelled at him, called him an idiot because he’d forgotten his lunch and said he’d have to go without.
A light turned on for Dexter, for he realized that when Ethan was belittling him, he was modeling his father’s behavior. Now Dex understood why Ethan acted the way he did. But now what?

Using common sense, what should Dexter do?

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