As a kid my boyhood hero was Larry Bird. “Larry Legend” could do no wrong in my eyes and I idolized everything he did on a basketball court. This sparked my love for the game of basketball. I took that love through high school and even into college where I played for three years and was a captain for two of those seasons. In the summer of 1999, I made the difficult decision to forego my senior year to go pro.
By pro, I mean I was offered a full-time job at a television station and I couldn’t turn it down. It was definitely the right thing to do because professional basketball wasn’t even a remote possibility. However, I often look back on the glory days of playing basketball and miss how physically fit I was. At the height of my physical prowess I could be found on the court dunking all over fools! But now if I attempted a dunk, I would be sore for two weeks. I used to be able to cross people over and stop on a dime, but now I’m pretty sure I would throw out my hip if I tried that.
This got me thinking about limitations. With age comes wisdom and wisdom allows us to see our limitations. As I grow older I realize more and more that I can’t do some of the things I used to be able to do, such as dunk a basketball or sprint at top speed. Realizing my limitations protects me from injury (and/or embarassment). As a 38 year old man, I know that I need to be aware of my limitations on the basketball court. Attempting a dunk in the middle of a pick up game could be disastrous.
As a man who longs to live with integrity and purity, I realize the importance of limitations in my every day life. Just like years of basketball have wreaked havoc on my knees, years of watching pornography and objectifying women have left scars on my relationships. There are simply things I can’t do anymore. A friend of mine who has overcome a pornography addiction has a simple phrase that he uses in many situations . . . “Some can, I can’t.” When someone asks him to go watch an “R” rated movie that contains nudity and sexuality, his response is “Some can, I can’t.” Every night when he goes to bed, he leaves his phone downstairs instead of bringing it to bed with him. Some can, he can’t.
An important step in overcoming addiction of any kind is to recognize the triggers that make you want to use again and stay away. If you’re a recovering alcoholic, you wouldn’t order a beer and just look at it, would you? In fact, you most likely wouldn’t be any near the bar. Limitations are life’s way of protecting us from ourselves. Growing up we’ve all heard that we can do anything we set our minds to. We’ve been told that we don’t have to accept our limits and we can “overcome”. While some limits can be overcome, it’s very important that we realize the limits in our lives that are protecting us. That begins with being self-aware enough to realize what actions can potentially compromise our integrity. If we’re honest with ourselves, it’s not difficult to identify these things.
Once you identify your limitations, put necessary measures in place to ensure you are setting yourself up for success. A wise man understands his limitations and uses them to gain strength in other areas. Integrity is strength and strength comes from recognizing your limits and putting necessary boundaries in place.
If you’re interested in learning more about my ministry and how you can begin living a life of integrity, please contact me here or comment below. I love connecting with men who have a desire to live a life of integrity.