More from the cowboy with heavenly wisdom.
John looked down at his plate and then asked, “You said we all had mixed motives. What does that mean?”
Cody finished his mouthful of bread. “Well, as we mentioned while we were talking outside, you had one bad motive for dealing with Dodge: kill them all to get rid of them. That could be called revenge or fear; but whatever it is, it’s not a good motive, partly because it would like you to fight the right enemy.
“The positive motive of trying to get everyone to get along is a healthy and noble one. It requires more than just drawing and shooting.”
“And then there are what I call neutral motives, like wanting to be comfortable; that isn’t a bad motive, but it is a self-centered motive and can lead to poor choices. I never act out of such as that. Positive motives are much better.
“After we’ve taken the time to discern our motives, then we can compare them to what God has to say in His Word. You do read that, don’t you?” he asked looking at John.
“Well, once in a while we’ll read a bit.”
“If you don’t mind my saying, in my opinion once in a while don’t cut it.” Cody said. “Sorry to be so direct, but how often do you check your gun or clean it? Each day, right? And how long do you wait after firing it to reload it? Right away, I’m sure. You have to be ready all the time in country like this, with Indians and bad honchos around and no law to protect you.”
Sam spoke up, “What’s that got to do with reading the
“Well son, the Bible is called our sword, our weapon. If we don’t read it regularly, we won’t be ready to use it when we need it.
“See this gun?” Cody shucked his gun faster than the eye could follow. “You know why I’m so fast? Practice–combined with natural reflexes. If I hadn’t practiced all these years, I wouldn’t be ready for the attacks that come.
“Like last week a drunk cowboy in town drew on me for no reason, but I got there first; his gun didn’t even clear leather.
Didn’t kill him, just shot his gun out of his hand. He may remember that lesson.”
“The point is, we need to practice using the Word of God by reading it every day. Then it becomes second nature to think God’s thoughts instead of natural human ones.
“Reading regularly is important and it’s simple–just read a chapter in the New Testament each morning. That takes only about eight minutes—everyone has eight minutes. Start in Matthew and in nine months you’ll have read the whole New Testament. It’s just a matter of deciding to do it.
“One old friend of mine made a commitment, ‘No Bible, no breakfast.’ That worked to motivate him.”
“So, Mr. Cody, how does this tie in with Heavenly Wisdom,” asked Amanda.
“Let me first tell you more about it. It’s found in the book of James, in the New Testament, in chapter 3, verses 17 and 18 where it says this: Heavenly wisdom is first of all pure, then peace loving, then sweetly reasonable–sometimes translated as gentle—then approachable and submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”
“That’s a beautiful list; I like it!” said Amanda.
“Yes, it is beautiful, both in word and application. If we follow this wisdom, it is possible to resolve many conflicts before they escalate.”
Picture: Cody’s values (from internet)