December 12, 2019
Volume 23, Number 39
I’ll have to admit that I’m impressed with William Clark. Though I’ve never met him, this professor at New York’s Binghamton University set a new Guinness World Record by bending seven railroad spikes in a minute. The previous record of four spikes bent in a minute was impressive enough.
In the community in which I grew up in Southeastern Kentucky was a railroad yard, ten rows of tracks lying side by side to park empty coal cars. It was common to see iron railroad spikes in the gravel, discarded from previous repairs to the tracks. From having handled many of these in my time I can attest that bending one is not something I would ever imagine being able to do!
Clark is a former Olympic strongman, the United Press International story explained. In August of 2018 he set another Guinness record by ripping 23 metal license plates in half in a minute. Why does this professor do such things? The article explains that his purpose is to raise awareness of living with anxiety and stress.
We often do crazy things in the height of stress. A friend has often said that he would get so mad he could rip a bumper off a Mack truck. If that’s true, I don’t want to do anything that might make him mad!
Other forms of strength can be even more impressive. Solomon described one of these in Proverbs 16:32: “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”
One of the mightiest men in the Bible was Samson. In Judges 16 we read of a plot by his enemies to capture him when he came out of a house. At midnight Samson arose, knowing of their plans, and pulled up the posts of the city gate and carried it away. Physically this powerful man took a city.
But the one who has developed the ability to control his anger is stronger than that, Solomon said. To be able to rule one’s own spirit is the most important feat of strength.
Proverbs 25:28 looks at the same principle negatively: “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.” Self-control, a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23), will keep us from straying into dangerous territory. Without such restraints we make it more likely that our “city” will be broken into.
Here’s a situation that calls for self-control: “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26,27). In our moments of anger, do we rule our spirit? Do we turn to the Lord for help?
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
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Copyright, 2019, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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