I have always been a laid back person. I have only gotten really angry a few times in my life. I have been upset, but there have only been a few times when I was truly angry. I remember one such day quite well. My son Matthew, who was eight at the time, was playing with a friend on a playground beside our apartment while I was doing some work in the backyard.

I heard a bit of a commotion and when I looked over there were two of the neighborhood teenagers throwing rocks at my son and his friend. Standing between the playground and myself was an eight-foot high chain link fence.

While no one has ever accused me of being a speed runner or high jumper, I could have qualified for the Olympic team that day as I somehow scaled the fence and ran across the field in a matter of seconds. Suddenly I was next to my son with words coming out of my mouth that I normally didn’t say. There were threats made, and fear was placed into the hearts and minds of a few young people that day.

My son is in his twenties now. I still want the best for him and I still want to protect him. However, I am not always going to be there to beat up the neighborhood bullies his whole life, nor should I. To protect him now, I need to let him fight his own battles. As a father, I just hope I have taught him how.

God puts people around each one of us to help us spiritually. For some it is our parents, some a friend, a pastor, leader, or a combination of all of these. We need each other. We learn from each other.  We watch out for each other. We also need to grow up.

While we never completely stop needing each other, you still have to learn to fight for yourself. There will be times when we need to stand strong. You will face battles alone. There will also be days you need to be strong for someone else.

Romans 12:11says, ‘Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.’ Each of us has a responsibility to keep our spiritual lives strong. It is not enough to lean on others. Develop your own spiritual disciplines.

Also, identify how you recharge spiritually. If you recharge in prayer, make it a daily habit. Do you recharge reading scripture? Take time to read. Do you need alone time? Get alone. Do you need to get in a group of Christian friends and worship together? Then break out your guitar.

Become a self feeder and keep your spiritual walk hot by continually fanning it into flame.  Depend on others, but depend on yourself as well.

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