November 10, 2021
Poise is having a keen sense of the appropriate in every situation.
The poised life is one of gentleness, humility, confidence and boldness, all bound together in love. The key is knowing what every situation requires.
Do you live in extremes? Or are you aware of what is expected of you in any given situation?
We are living in such a volitive time and COVID has complicated everything. Maybe your life used to have a manageable rhythm, and you knew who you were and how to respond at work and home, or for that matter, at the grocery store or gas station. But now you are feeling the walls closing in and you want to push back.
Years ago, I had a conversation with a pastor friend who was at odds with a member of his congregation. This man was irate and had said some ugly things about my friend. It was wearing him down, and my friend remarked, “If he makes one more comment, that’s when the gloves come off.”
When the gloves come off? My friend was saying that there comes a point when you can forget about behaving nobly and start fighting dirty. [It’s that moment in a movie when the two police detectives, so beaten down by the system, take off their badges and put them in a drawer before they kill all the bad guys in the climactic scene. It seems to work well in movies, but not so much in real life.]
There are times in my life when this is exactly how I want to live. I’m not talking about shooting bad guys but lashing out in anger and frustration with ugly words and actions. This might be the world’s way, but it certainly isn’t Christ’s. God expects more from his sons.
If you feel like life has forced you into a corner and somehow justifies ungodly behavior, then you’re blowing it. The stress of this season, no matter how severe, does not give us reason to lash out, act disrespectfully towards our wives or children, whine about our political leaders, or be overly concerned about our financial futures.
I don’t deny that this is an incredibly stressful time, but the rules for Christ-followers haven’t suddenly changed because of it. We don’t get to take the gloves off. The world needs all the poised men it can get.
Do you need some encouragement? Do you need an example? Look to Jesus, the epitome of poise.
Jesus knows how to act and react in EVERY situation! He never loses his cool. He’s poised in his strength and humility. Consider the following passages in Luke.
Jesus in the home of Martha and Mary | Luke 10:38-42
Jesus confronts the Pharisees | Luke 11:37-54
Jesus heals a woman on the Sabbath | Luke 13:10-17
Jesus and the little children | Luke 18:15-17
Jesus’ authority questioned | Luke 20:1-8
Jesus on the Cross | Luke 23:32-43
Men, there is never a time to take the gloves off. Instead, it’s the time to be poised.