Matthew 16:24–26

Tom Landry, the late great head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, was once quoted as saying something like this: “I have a job to do that is not very complicated, but it is often difficult: to get a group of men to do what they don’t want to do so they can achieve the one thing they have wanted all their lives.”

Coach Landry, in that seemingly contradictory statement, described what discipline is all about ... doing what we don’t want to do so we can accomplish what we’ve always wanted.

So much of what results in a fulfilled life is really the product of a contradiction. Those who wish to be the best leaders must demonstrate true servanthood. Those who ultimately are given the oversight of vast regions and broad responsibilities have initially proven themselves faithful in the little things. The most effective form of retaliation is an absence of retaliation ... leaving all vengeance to God. In doing so, as the Scriptures say, we heap burning coals upon the head of an adversary (see Romans 12:20), which is nothing more than overcoming evil with good—another contradictory truth.

Jesus Himself embodied this contradiction and desires to have it take place in all of us. He declared:

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? (Matthew 16:24–26)

How’s that for a challenge to live a life that contradicts ... well, just about everything. Go for it!


Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord ... Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright ©2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.