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Tag Archives: humiliation

A Misfit Living in a Cruel World

Fifty two years ago this coming December, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer debuted.  In the years that have followed, children and parents have made this animation a Christmas classic.   Something about an elf who wants to be a dentist and a reindeer whose nose glows appeals to anyone who feels like a social outcast.  Essentially, this story serves as a reminder to those who are currently a misfit living in a cruel world.

While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples, Matthew 9:10.

After experiencing public scrutiny and humiliation, Hermey and Rudolph run away from their problems, coming to shore on the Island of Misfit Toys.  Upon interacting with a Charlie in the Box and a train with square wheels, Hermey and Rudolph come to the realization that their lives aren’t as bad as they initially thought.  Sometimes all you need to do is meet someone less fortunate and your perspective changes immediately.

Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him, Matthew 20:34.

There is a perception in the world from those who do not believe in God that Jesus is too good, holy and righteous for sinners.  On the contrary, Jesus spent most of his time on earth conversing, eating and sitting with the lower and middle class.   Jesus’ ministry was centered around reaching out to misfits, needy individuals and the poor.  Therefore, don’t think you have to have everything together to serve the Lord.  Rather, find meaning and purpose in this cruel world by touching the lives of people in need with an encouraging word, hug or smile.

by Jay Mankus

 

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You’ll Never Know Unless You Try

When I was younger, I thought I was better than I actually was.  I would talk smack, emotionally annoy opponents and wouldn’t back down from a confrontation.  Over time I have mellowed, learned the importance of humility and found contentment in my retirement from sports.  Yet, I’m thankful that I wasn’t afraid to fail as a professional golfer.

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come, 1 Timothy 4:8.

As I step away from competition, my son James faces a similar dilemma.  Despite being a state champion pole vaulter and 3 time all conference golfer, playing division one sports in college is a whole new ball game.  Thus, he has to decide do I risk embarrassment, humiliation or do I play it safe by avoiding disappointment?  My message to him is you’ll never know unless you try.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me, Philippians 3:12.

In my first golf mini-tour event, I shot 48 on the front nine, shaking so badly it was hard to swing a club.  I could have hung my head, quit or withdrawn from this competition.  Yet, I battled, birdieing the 10th, finding my rhythm on the back nine.  I never made any money nor did I reach the P.G.A. tour, but I walked away from this game knowing I did everything in my power to succeed.  Thus, whether you are my son, a friend or a stranger I meet along the road called life, you’ll never know your ultimate destiny unless you try by utilizing your God given talents.

by Jay Mankus

 

A Few Wrong Notes

As a former alto saxophone player, it doesn’t take much to ruin a concert.  One wrong note, breathe or mistake can lead to humiliation.  However, sometimes a musician might deviate from the script, experimenting with a certain song or sound.  For Neil Young, a few wrong notes at a cafe in Ontario opened the door for this 18 year old aspiring artist.  As Paul Harvey famously stated, “and now you know the rest of the story.”

Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens, Psalm 150:1.

Hollywood’s version of a few wrong notes is illustrated by the Tom Hanks movie That Thing You Do.  When Guy Patterson, a back up drummer called into action after the regular drummer breaks his arm, he speeds up the song with a faster, hipper tempo.  Subsequently, lead vocalist and song writer Jimmy Mattingly is forced to follow this beat.  When this version of the song That Thing You Do hits the air waves, the Wonders become an overnight sensation.

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD, Psalm 150:6.

In the book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis uses a piano analogy to introduce the Law of Human Nature.  Without knowledge of notes or reading a music sheet, chaos usually ensues.  However, when basic principles are introduced, people develop an ear for what’s right and wrong.  In this life, God has given every individual a conscience to guide us.  The more individuals become in tune with God, a few wrong notes are easily recognizable.  Unfortunately, for those who wander down the wrong path, justification and realization take over blinding people from the truth.  Before arrogance or pride take over, may the Holy Spirit open your eyes to the few wrong notes you are playing so your final song will end in eternity.

by Jay Mankus

A Sitting Duck for Stupid Decisions

An individual who is an easy prey, out in the open or vulnerable to an attack is considered a sitting duck.  Finding yourself in this predicament could be an accident, by chance or self induced.  Yet, anyone who speaks without filtering their thoughts is like a sitting duck for stupid decisions.

In this politically correct climate, the slightest slip of the tongue can be costly.  Unless you are a liberal comedian, no one else is exempt from public scrutiny.  Hank Williams Jr. spoke out against president Obama, Jimmy the Greek made an off-color remark and Mississippi State beat writer Matthew Stevens is the latest to lose their job for expressing their opinion.  Loose lips ship ships as well as open the door for becoming a sitting duck for the media to shoot down.

For those who fly under the radar, stupid decisions are a by product of the choices you make.  Words such as “trust me, I know what I’m doing or so and so said” often set the stage for humiliation.  As for me, the further I drift apart from the words of the Bible, the stupider I become.  Pride comes before the fall, Proverbs 16:18, is one of the most profound sayings of Solomon.  Thus, if anyone boasts, holds their nose up in the air or pumps out their chest, sooner or later the confident will become a sitting duck for stupid decisions, 1 Corinthians 10:12-13.

by Jay Mankus

 

Do Whatever He Tells You

If you were raised in a military family, questioning a person of authority isn’t an option.  Colonel Jessup played by Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men illustrates this truth during direct examination by Tom Cruise in a military court, “if marines don’t follow orders in Cuba, people die!”  Once any individual earns the respect of their fellow civilians, peers or platoon, most will do whatever he or she tells you to do.

In the case of Mary, mother of Jesus, she knew her son was special by age 12, Luke 2:51-52.  Eighteen years later, her opinion had not changed, believing her son had divine powers, John 2:3.  Thus, when a friend was about to face public humiliation, running out of wine at a wedding ceremony, Mary relies on Jesus to come to the rescue.  However, there was a problem, Jesus had only called 6 of his 12 disciples, John 1:35-51, with 6 more remaining to complete his ministry team.  Initially, he refuses to act, explaining God’s timing to commence his 3 year ministry had not yet arrived, John 2:4.  Nonetheless, Jesus keeps the vow he made following his bar-mitz-vah to honor his father and mother, Exodus 20:12.

As soon as this conflict was settled, Mary moves into action, ordering the servants at the reception to “do whatever Jesus tells you,” John 2:5.  Led by the Holy Spirit, Matthew 4:1 and angels, Matthew 4:11, Jesus examines the situation, develops a plan and gives orders to the servants, John 2:6-8.  With their jobs and reputations on the line, these workers carefully follow Jesus’ instructions.  Likely scratching their heads, hoping for the best, these servants wait in fearful anticipation of the master’s first impression, John 2:9.  Not sure if they will be embarrassed, curiosity holds their attention until each receives good news, John 2:10.  If this first miracle of Jesus teaches us anything, do whatever He tell you and good things are bound to follow.

If you’ve experienced or seen any modern day miracles, feel free to share in the comment section below.

by Jay Mankus

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