With nothing more than a whip and chair, Clyde Beatty could bring the meanest lion to its knees. The famous lion tamer would hold the chair over his head in one hand and snap the whip simultaneously with the other. Do you think you could keep a 500-pound carnivore at bay with these items?

Let me tell you Clyde’s secret: Somehow he discovered the powerful cats feared his chair. Even though the chair posed no threat to them, they allowed themselves to be bluffed by it, perhaps because it made Beatty appear bigger than he really was.

Human beings are no different than jungle cats in the way we respond to our fears. We allow ourselves to become intimidated by things which often have no reality or substance. A good example would be the conduct of many unsaved people. We work with them and live beside them. We have heard their language and watched their actions. They are mean. They are belligerent. They are stubborn. And they’re proud of it—not unlike some of us Christians.

Even as your mind draws a picture of the difficult lost people in your life, consider this: They are but a heartbeat from Hell. They may be bold and brash about their sins today, but they are just holding up a harmless chair. Unregenerate men cannot legitimately threaten redeemed children of God. Their ruin is imminent. Rather than being intimidated by their attitudes and actions, we ought to pity them and do everything in our power to lead them to Jesus Christ.

Pray that God would help you look beyond the faults of the lost and give you courage to address their greatest need today.

To the pure in heart nothing really bad can happen. Not death, but sin should be our great fear. — A.W. Tozer

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.