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Tempering boldness with self restraint

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Short Round, is just that, a short, miniature bull, but very chunky and at first glance, looks like an overfed bot-bellied pig.

He is used in some junior rodeos and is a lot of fun to watch because of his personality. He is more than ready to show the bigger bulls who is boss.

Sometimes, we need to be bold and fearless when it comes to telling others about Jesus.

But Proverbs 26:17 also says this: “Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears”. We have to choose our battles carefully, following God’s leading and being wise.

We see many times in the Old Testament, the Israelites being told to battle against odds far worse than what Short Round would find himself up against if he was put in the same pen as some of the full-size bulls he challenges through fence panels.

The Israelites were shown many times beating what seemed like impossible odds, but it was because it was God’s will for them to engage, and they were following his clear direction for them.

We’re all called repeatedly to be bold in sharing the gospel and not to be afraid when following what we know God has asked us to do.

2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

When we act, it’s out of a desire for others to know Jesus and self -control. We can stand up for our faith without forcing our way in to somewhere God hasn’t asked us to go or forcing a confrontation simply because we know what we believe is true and right.

Through prayer and a growing understanding of scripture, we can learn to discern where we need to be bold and be sure the battles we take on are ones we are called into by God and not by our own desire to be right or heard.

Scott Hilgendorff is the pastor for Cowboys of the Cross, a rodeo/ bull riding ministry that makes disciples among the ranch and rodeo community.