Summary: First in a series of sermons about the things in life that beat us down. Here we explore how other people beat us down and how we respond in a CHristlike and God-honoring way
LifeBeaters: Taking Back The Life God Promised You (Wk. 1, 7/13/30)
2 Corinthians 4:8-10,17
Introduction—What’s A Life Beater? Lifebeaters? The things in this life that beat you down. There are a lot of them you know, Things like worry, stress, depression, anger, guilt . . . They have the ability to beat you down, but what if, what if you could BEAT BACK these life beaters? What if you could take back the life God promised you—you know the promise, the one Jesus made, he said, I have come that you might have life and have it to the fullest (John 10:10) In the Bible, the apostle Paul knew about being beaten down. Listen to what he says:
2 Corinthians 4:8-10, 17, We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. 9) We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.
It reminds me of the story of A New York lawyer went duck hunting in the mountains of East Tennessee recently. He shot and dropped a bird, but it fell into a farmer’s field on the other side of the fence. As the lawyer climbed over the fence, an elderly farmer drove up on his tractor and asked him what he was doing.
"I shot this duck, and it fell in this field, and now I’m going in to retrieve it."
"This is my property," the old farmer replied. "And you are not coming over here."
"I’m one of the best trial lawyers in New York," said the lawyer. "And if you don’t let me get that duck, I’ll sue you and take everything you own."
"Apparently, you don’t know how we do things in these parts of Tennessee," said the farmer. "We settle disagreements like this with the Tennessee three-kick rule."
"And just what is the Tennessee three-kick rule?"
"Well, first I kick you three times, and then you kick me three times, and so on, back and forth, until someone gives up."
The attorney quickly thought about the proposed contest and decided that he could easily take the old-timer. He agreed to the local custom. The old farmer slowly climbed down from the tractor and walked up to the city slicker. His first kick planted the steel toe of his heavy work boot in the lawyer’s shin. The man fell to his knees. His second kick nearly put a hole in the man’s stomach. The old man then quickly delivered the third kick to the side of the attorney’s head. Slowly, the disoriented lawyer managed to get to his feet.
"OK, you old codger," he said. "now it’s my turn."
The farmer smiled and said, "Naw, I give up. you can have the duck."….----There are situations, there are circumstances, but many times it’s people who beat other people down.
Why do we do it? Why do people put others down? Sometimes it seems obvious. People put others down to demonstrate power over them, to feel superior themselves. When I was in Jr. High, I took karate, Tae,quon dae, and I had a teacher just like the bad guy teacher in the Karate Kid movie. I remember the first day of class, he told everyone, I’m stronger than all of you, I’m tougher than all of you, I am superior and I’m going to teach you to be superior . . . . He felt superior by pointing out how inferior we were. (I would have put him in his place, only he really was stronger and tougher than any of us—I wanted to learn to beat people up, not get beat up) Sometimes people put others down to feel better about themselves. Sometimes we put others down because we are jealous. It’s easy for me to be critical of those who know more or have more have more than I do. But am I exposing their sin of arrogance or greed, or just my own sin of envy. Sometimes we put others down because they are different. If I’m normal (which by the way, I’m not), but If I’m normal and normal is good, then if you’re like me, then your good, but if your not like me—well then, let’s talk about you . . . .