My boys are very young now, but I am writing these letters to them so that someday they will understand how important it is to be a strong Christian man. I hope these letters will be an encouragement to you and maybe even to your sons.
I would like to tell you a story about a young shepherd named David. One day David was out quietly watching over his father’s sheep. Suddenly he heard a rustling in the grass—a ferocious lion appeared. With lightening fast speed, the lion snatched up a lamb and held him firmly in his jaws of death. The lion, with the struggling lamb in his mouth, retreated from the pasture to enjoy his prey. David wasted no time; in a moment he caught up to the lion. Without hesitation he attacked the hungry cat, caught him by his beard, and killed him (1 Samuel 18:34-36).
I think it is important that you know this story for several reasons. First, I want you to know that you must take your responsibilities seriously. It was David’s responsibility to watch over his father’s sheep, and he took his job seriously. The Bible tells us that when we are working, we should work like we are working for God (Ephesians 6:5-8). Whether you are mowing the grass, taking out the trash, or doing your homework, God expects you to do every job like you’re working for Him!
Next, this story teaches us that when a problem arises we don’t make excuses, we make plans! David didn’t say, “It isn’t my fault a lion came and stole a sheep; why should I have to deal with it?” No. David didn’t come up with a list of reasons why he shouldn’t have to deal with the problem; he just came up with a plan to deal with it! When problems come up in your life don’t make excuses about why you can’t deal with them, just come up with a plan of how to deal with those problems.
Lastly, this story teaches us that we do what needs to be done, even when we’re afraid! I imagine David was probably terrified when he was pursuing that lion. And his hands may have been shaking when grabbed a fist-full of the lion’s beard. But he did it anyway! David knew that God would take care of him if he just did what he was supposed to do. There are going to be lots of times in your life when you are afraid, God expects you to do the right thing even when your heart is telling you to run away! That is real strength and real courage!
Boys, sometimes your lion may be a bully who is picking on you, or picking on someone else. Sometimes your lion may be a temptation to do something you know you ought not do. Or your lion may even be difficult challenges you face, like school work or a championship game. Whatever lions you face in life remember to take your responsibilities seriously, don’t make excuses, and do what’s right even if you’re afraid!