‘Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning. I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality. ‘ 1 Timothy 5:20-21
One of the things that makes bowhunting so very appealing to me, as to many others I know, is the challenge. The mere act of getting close enough to game to have a legitimate opportunity of being successful is a tremendous challenge. Big game are suspicious, keenly attuned to their surroundings, intimately familiar with the landscape and extremely unforgiving of mistakes. The wood craft required to consistently be successful in harvesting an animal is hard earned. Depending on the pursuit, there is a level of physicality that must be achieved in order to be able to get to and return from the desired game’s haunts. Then, when the opportunity is realized, one must be able to biomechanically perform a precision shot within a very definite vital area. If you miss that mark, you likely will be eating a tag sandwich instead of an elk steak.
These are “rules”, standards that must be executed if one wants to be successful on a bowhunt. If you are not able to do anyone of these things, you have to keep working at it until you can. Plain and simple, no ifs, ands or buts about it. We don’t get to change those “rules” because we fail at meeting them We can’t expand the vital area, on the game we pursue, because we aren’t proficient enough to hit the mark. The game isn’t going to take it easy on us because we’re not fit enough to hike to where they live.
That’s not true in our society, though is it? Often times, that’s not even true within the church either. In our society we often times bend the rules, expand the target, and turn a blind eye when someone cannot follow the “rules” or measure up to the prescribed standard. There’s a whole host of reason’s why we do it, why we show partiality in some circumstances, but come down hard in others. We often times will even call someone out for falling short in areas that we give our self a pass on. What’s the cost for doing this? What’s the reward if we adhere to the standard and ask others to, as well?
‘My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.’ James 5:19-20
As a society, we strive for easier. We keep lowering the bar, so as not to offend. It’s easier for all involved. We have become a culture of, “everyone gets a trophy”, because we don’t want anyone to feel left out. We don’t call each other out on our sin strongholds, because it’s uncomfortable and hard and well frankly, we’d have to address our own as well. Instead, we widen the target, lower the bar and go along to get along. The rules don’t change just because we say they do. Right is right, Wrong is wrong. Wild game isn’t going to give anyone a trophy who didn’t earn it. An elk is going to let you know when you screw up, and you will be allowed to fail. You’ll improve or you’ll keep failing. You’ll do what is necessary or you’ll continue to fall short. You’ll seek out opportunities and resources to get better. You’ll seek wise counsel and apply their guidance.
Yeah I like bowhunting. It’s hard. I respect the wild game I pursue. They’re unforgiving teachers that will not let someone slide by. We live in a time of great opportunity. We have the option to turn a blind eye or stand in the gap. I want to leave you with one last passage to ponder. Ask yourself, “am I fulfilling this”? Have a blessed weekend.
‘I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. ‘ 2 Timothy 4:1-5
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy