The Best Corner

God has been very loud in my head today…He has to be some days. I need Him to be louder than the other voices I deal with from time to time. Those that are discouraging or hurtful or confusing.

I shared the below with my Virtual Small Group today and I wanted to share with anyone else reading.

Who is in your corner?

Dear Amazing Ladies!!!

I know we are studying Psalms (and I promise to get back to those posts before the end of the week) but I heard an incredible message today that I wanted to share with you.

I spend a lot of time in an 18th story office in downtown Jacksonville. Unless I’m in a meeting, I listen to either podcasts or music while I’m working.

Today, I was listening to a message by a counselor (Jason Vallotton) with Bethel Church in Redding, CA. The message was specifically about Emotional Health in Relationships. Not just romances, but all relationships.

He talked about humanity’s ongoing emotional plague to be “self-made” and “independent” without any support from others and God immediately brought to mind boxing.

Yes, boxing.

For those of you who don’t know me well…I love gritty contact sports. Roller derby, MMA, and boxing. (Also, God uses really odd ways to reach me.)

There is something so genuine about boxing that reminds me of life…no matter how great you are, you are going to get hit. Period. Even the easiest battles can hurt. Having a great team in your corner is key.

As he spoke, I noted that we never see a successful boxer in the ring alone. He has an entire team in his corner:

1. Trainer: the trainer is responsible for developing the fighter’s skill and technique. He is the one who identifies areas of weakness and provides instruction to make the necessary corrections in the boxer’s skill.

2. Cutman: the cutman is the guy you see with the ice and vaseline in the corner. His job is very specific…prevent and treat any injuries. As soon as the bell rings, he is up and going. He has a place for the boxer to sit and rest between rounds. He has ice in hand, rags to clean off the fighter’s face and vaseline to treat the face to prevent additional hits from ‘sticking’.

3. Hype-man: the hype-man is the continuous cheerleader. He is the one who is not ashamed to tell the world how amazing the fighter is! He yells out to the watching crowd and shares the victories that have been and will be. He is responsible for building up the momentum for the fighter and for ensuring the crowd is rooting for his man. He makes sure his fighter knows that “he’s got this” no matter how bloody the battle.

As I briefly stopped working and giggled at the analogy God brought to mind, the speaker said the following…

“The self-made man is emotionally and relationally anemic.”

WOO-SAH!

Ladies–we live in a world where it is certainly more comfortable to go at life alone. We all have reasons to hide: reasons to avoid the ring altogether and to never trust another human being with our success or failure. But that life, the solitary one, is empty. It is shallow: composed of emotionally empty calories…there is no nutrition or benefit in it whatsoever.

During my 45 minute commute home today, I turned off the radio and continued to meditate on what God had shared with me today.

We are called to enter the ring. We are called to fight for the kingdom we believe in. Being successful means engaging the best possible team for the job.

Choose your corner carefully.

Do not allow a trainer who cannot empower you and take you deeper into your spiritual relationship or will not challenge you to improve, grow and succeed. Do not choose someone who has no experience in the ring: someone who can’t even tell if you are winning or losing. Do not choose someone who has not studied your opponent and can help you avoid injury and defeat.

Do not allow a cutman who has no intention of caring for your wounds, or preventing those that may come, to sit in your corner idly while you bleed out. Do not trust someone with your wounds who has no intention of helping you heal and avoid them in the future.

Do not allow a hype-man in your corner who does not believe in your calling and spiritual journey or is embarrassed or ashamed to help you tell the world where God is taking you. Do not allow someone to speak for you who does not share your passion, your conviction or does not believe in your purpose.

Who is in your corner? Are they helping you or hurting you? There is no neutral.

Love you all dearly and praying that you each allow God to build a team that celebrates your wins and encourages you in your failures.

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