PROTECT INTEGRITY

LifeLink Devotions

Friday, May 6, 2022

The way I live my life, I should wear a helmet all the time. I am constantly bumping my head on stuff. I can’t believe that God chose to combine impulsiveness and baldness into one man. I’ve gotten better, mainly because I’m tired of the scars. Some of the scars are the result of serious head injuries. I have a permanent bump on the back of my head from a bicycle accident when I was seven. I have a big scar left by the teeth of a friend when we collided in a softball game. Both of those injuries resulted in concussions. A concussion occurs when the brain slams against the inside of the skull as it moves as in response to an outside force. Newton’s third law of motion hurts. I’ve spent nights in the hospital as a result. Most of you would agree that I have suffered some form of brain damage.

Helmets protect the head from serious injury in most cases. You see, when a concussion occurs, thinking is impaired. I can recall the stories my wife tells about my behavior in the hospital after my last one. I don’t remember a thing about it, but she says it was hilarious. Obviously, I was out of my mind, because I am not normally hilarious. Injury to the brain can cause impaired judgment, loss of memory, and maybe even reduced intelligence capabilities. When the memory and rational thinking process are impaired, actions can become quite embarrassing.

Ephesians 6:17a  “Take the helmet of salvation…

It’s the same in the spiritual world. If our brains are not being protected by the helmet of salvation, our actions can become quite embarrassing, both to the Lord Jesus and to other Christians. No one in their right mind wants to be an embarrassment. No one wants to be shamed. No one wants to feel insignificant and rejected. No one wants to live a life questioning their worth and value. Yet all those things will be the result of leaving our minds unprotected against the attacks of an enemy who knows how to get into our heads. Our defense is the helmet of salvation. With the knowledge of God’s grace and our unconditional acceptance into His eternal family we are protected from spiritual concussions.

The helmet of salvation protects us from attacks against our righteousness and integrity. From the files of Leadership magazine comes this story written by Bob Welch called A Father for All Seasons.  

“My son Jason’s successes have come mainly in baseball, the most notable of which occurred in a single moment last summer. In the last three years, I doubt Jason has ever taken the field when he wasn’t the smallest player on either team. Last summer, his lack of height was all the more noticeable because he was a seventh grader playing in a seventh/eighth-grade league.

“A fire-armed pitcher—more than a foot taller than my 4-foot-9 son—blazed a fastball right down the pike. I’m not sure Jason even saw the ball. Strike one. The second pitch scorched across the plate for a called strike two. The third pitch, unintentionally I’m sure, came right at Jason. He turned to avoid being hit and fell to the ground. His bat went flying. His helmet bounced off. The ball seemed to have skimmed his shoulder.

“Take your base,” said the umpire.

Standing in the third-base coach’s box, I was happy just seeing Jason alive, much less getting a free base. But now he was saying something to the umpire. What was going on?

“It didn’t hit me,” Jason said to the ump.

“Take your base, son,” said the ump.

Our fans were most likely thinking the same thing I was thinking: Take your base, son.

“But honest, it didn’t hit me,” Jason pleaded.

The umpire looked at Jason and out to the infield ump, who just shrugged. “OK,” said the ump, “the count is one-and-two.”

Should I intervene? Make him take his base? Jason was already digging in his cleats in the batter’s box. I mentally shrugged and headed back to the coach’s box.

The towering pitcher rocked and fired. A bullet right down the middle—the kind of pitch that would send the kid to the dugout. Instead, Jason ripped the ball into left-center for a stand-up double. Our crowd roared. The manager of the team in the field was standing a few feet behind me. He had no idea that the kid on second base was my son. He spit out his sunflower seeds and slowly shook his head.

“Man,” he said, “you gotta love that.”

 That’s exactly right – you gotta love it when honesty and integrity reign supreme in anyone’s life. It should be how we choose leaders for our churches and for our nation. It should be how we all live our lives. And it’s possible when we wear the helmet of salvation!

Pastor John

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