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Unsticking the Stuck

 

One of the most exciting things we do the ranch is our bed and breakfast lessons.  People come from as far off as Canada and bring their horses for lessons.  Others have flown in from Brazil and ridden our horses. People want help with places where they are stuck with their horses.  This week, we talked a lot about stuck parts that cause great problems in our barrel horses when we start to apply speed.  In particular, this week, the left flank muscle came up.  When a horse is unyielded in a flank muscle - in this case the left one - and  he is running to the first barrel (right barrel)  he will dog track left putting his right shoulder down.  When turning the first barrel, he will feel stiff and either come up off the ground when leaving the first barrel, or drift to the outside. All of this slows you down.  We soften the left flank by first loosening up the right shoulder so we can get a release on the opposite flank and rib cage. This is a process that takes correction and confronting with both leg aides as well as rein handling.

 

Horses react in three ways when a trainer confronts an unyielded part.  Some will bow up, get mad and kick out when you apply your leg and rein yields.  Some will give in and yield on the outside, but their heart is always looking for an opportunity to stiffen up again.  The third bunch will yield and supple up and will have a chance to become a very valuable and useful horse.  They take correction and suppling with a great attitude and open mind. They are a trainer's delight.  If the horse is never confronted with his problem, he will continue on becoming stiffer and stiffer as his life goes on and will miss the potential that he could have reached. 

 

People are exactly the same way.  We sometimes are doing things that will keep us from reaching our potential.  Sometimes our perception ( how we see things) is quite different from reality (how things really are).  Without the words of reality spoken to us by a friend, we can remain in the bondage of a perception that is unreality.  The bible has lots to say about rebuking, reproving and exhorting.  These words are defined as:  to correct, to convince, to convict, to speak truth, to tell one's fault to him, to bring shame to a person in sin.  When we see someone heading the wrong way, the Word of God says that a refusal to correct is a refusal to love.  Proverbs 13:24   Often, God will put us in a position to confront or rebuke the actions of a friend. It is far easier to mind your own business than it is to risk confronting a friend, but if we don't help one another, who will? 

 

The Bible gives us instructions to go by.  If you are struggling with this issue, I suggest that you look up all the verses in the Word on the subject and spend time in prayer.  You will find many verses. People can re-act in several ways just as horses that are corrected do.  Some get mad and you may risk losing a friend.  But, if you go to a brother and he hears you, you have gained a brother.  (Matt: 18:15)  There is a story of David in 2 Samuel 12:1 where Nathan rebuked him.  David's reaction is that of a man of a humble heart.  He admitted what he did and turned immediately to repent.  Jesus came to reprove the world of sin.  (John 16:8)  Some repented and some turned away.  Read in Acts 9 about Saul who kicked against the correction, but then turned into a great man of God, the Apostle Paul.  He went from a Christian killer to a warrior for God because Jesus Christ rebuked and confronted him. 

 

The Word tells us in Proverbs 9  " If you rebuke a hard heart, you will only make him mad, yes, he will snarl at you.  So don't bother with him, he will only hate you for trying to help him.  BUT a wise man when rebuked, will love you all the more. 

 

Here are a few more to meditate upon:

 

Proverbs 11:    Without good direction, people lose their way.

Proverbs 12:    Truthful words by a good person clears the air.

Proverbs 13:    Refuse correction and end up homeless.

Proverbs 15:    Moral dropouts won't listen to rebuke - welcoming correction is a mark of good sense.

Proverbs 17:    A rebuke to a person of good sense does more than a whack on the head of a fool.

Proverbs 23:    Give yourself to disciplined instruction: open your ears to tested knowledge and truth.

Proverbs 24:     It is an honor to receive a frank reply. 

 

Some people simply cannot get into reality and continue in their own way. They will get mad and even turn your good intentions around to make you feel like you were wrong to attempt to help them. Many are Christians that have strongholds and old ruts and grooves that they have been in for so long that they have grown used to them. They will fight to stay in the rut because they are familiar with it.  We can be stuck simply because it is the way we have been so long that we think it is the right way.  Without the carefronting and rebukes of a friend, we will remain unyielded in that area and be like that old stuck stiff horse that could have won the world but never got out of town.  A refusal to listen to a friend guarantees you the opportunity to remain unchanged and stuck.

 

If God has been after you to rebuke, correct or exhort someone and you don't because of fear of how they will re-act to your frankness, remember this:  One day you will stand before Christ and He will ask you why you did not love your brother or sister enough to take the risk.  James tells us in the last chapter of his book:  Dear brothers, if anyone is slipping in their walk with God and someone helps him understand the Truth again, that person who brings him back will save a wandering soul from death and hide a multitude of sins. 

 


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