A Good Talkin’ To

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Sometimes we just need a good talkin’ to.  Sometimes we don’t even know we’re doing the wrong thing.  Sometimes we’re trying to do the right thing, but we’re doing it the wrong way.  Sometimes we’re doing the right thing but for the wrong reasons. And sometimes were just plain wrong.

Back in the day, my mother would sit my sisters and I down and “lay down the law.”  We usually had done something wrong, or had broken something, or were just getting on her nerves.  So she would give us words of wisdom, usually mixed with a threat or too, and we would sit there and absorb the corrective counsel, which was good for us.   We needed a good ‘ole fashioned talkin’ to.

The 2009 film “The Blind Side” is based on the true story of Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy who take in and eventually adopt a homeless teenage African-American, Michael “Big Mike” Oher. Michael has no idea who his father is and his mother is a drug addict. Michael has had little formal education and few skills to help him learn. Leigh Anne soon takes charge however, as is her nature, ensuring that the young man has every opportunity to succeed. When he expresses an interest in football, she goes all out to help him, including giving the coach a few ideas on how best to use Michael’s skills.

In the film, Leigh Anne attends one of Mike’s football practices. The position he played was left tackle, the position responsible for protecting the quarterback’s blindside.  She observes her son being passive and not asserting himself.  She interrupts practice, pulls her son aside and gives him a good talkin’ to. After this chat, he is more assertive and more aggressive. After the talkin’ to, he stopped allowing the defensive linemen to push him around, and did not allow any defensive player anywhere near the quarterback. That’s what a good talkin’ to will do.

And so sometimes we just need a good talkin’ to. We all need people in our lives that will tell us the truth. Moses’ father in law gave him a much-needed talkin’ to.  Moses was doing too much and delegating too little.  He was putting in too many hours, assuming too much responsibility and taking up to much of the burden of leadership on his own.  How many times do we try to do too much?  How often do we work too hard and rest too little?  As Jethro told Moses, we will “surely wear away . . . because the burden is too heavy.”

So be humble and allow those that God sends your way to give you counsel, guidance and direction.  The sound advice from a trusted, truthful confidant will save you time and trouble in the short run and hair and years in the long run.  As for Michael Oher, largely because he listened to the talkin’ to, he was the first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2009 NFL draft.

At the end of the day, you’ll be thankful that you listened to the good ‘ole fashioned talkin’ to.     

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