Key Bible Verses: Peter took him aside. Jesus said to Peter very sternly, “Get away from me, Satan!” – Matthew 16: 23.
Bonus Reading: Matthew 16: 21-28
In 1968, John McCain, now a U.S. Senator, was a naval aviator who’d been shot down over Hanoi. Already held captive for more than a year, he was still recovering from the broken leg and arm he’d sustained during his capture. He was suffering from dysentery and heat rash.
That’s when the prison commandant made him an incredible offer. “You can go home right now,” the commandant said.
Can you imagine McCain’s emotions?
But what he didn’t know was that his father had just been named commander of all forces in the Pacific. The Vietnamese wanted to release John as a propaganda ploy, using his special treatment as a way to demoralize the other prisoners. But there was a code of honor for the men in the prison camps: First in, first to leave.
Five men had been there longer than McCain. And so he thought about it, prayed about it, and finally said, “No. I’m not going home until they do.” By saying no to the early release, he said yes to four more years of beatings, torture, and hardship.
Saying no to second-best isn’t easy. But it’ll strengthen your character and your relationships. I t can even make you more like God’s Son.
– John Trent in “Christian Parenting Today”
My Response: I’m stronger because I’ve said no to…
Thought to Apply: To deny self is to become a nonconformist. The Bible tells us not to conform to this world physically, intellectually or spiritually. – Billy Graham
Adapted from: Christian Parenting Today (1-2/00)