In the middle of junior year, I moved to New Jersey to finish high school. I left behind a lot of friends I had known for several years. We shared many great experiences together. New Jersey was different in so many ways … some good and some bad, but especially many temptations and a faster pace than I was ready for.
Upon moving, the biggest dilemma for me was not knowing who to hang out with … the popular guys … the jocks … the heads (drugs) … the troublemakers … the punkers … the brains … the clowns … the Italians. Thinking back, I never thought of hanging out with the Christians, because they seemed boring and I feared rejection or ridicule from the others. Each group had pros and cons. I didn’t realize that the group I picked would have a major influence on me.
During the first days at the new school, I met my new baseball coach … a different guy with a mixed reputation among the students. On away-game bus trips, he had a saying, “Don’t be a BOB!” I asked my teammates what the heck a “BOB” was and they told me: B.O.B … Back of the Bus-er. Coach knew troublemakers always went to the back of the bus to smoke, make-out, vandalize the seats, pick on others, gossip about teammates or coaches, moon other cars, etc.
I looked at who was at the back, both on the team bus and the morning bus to school, and I realized that he was right. BOB wasn’t necessarily a geographic identifier as much as a character identifier. Are you a BOB? Do you hang out with BOBs? How do you identify the BOBs as an adult? Are you a BOB follower? Do you try to prove yourself to or get the attention of the BOBs?
Today, take a look at your character. Are you handling yourself the way you should? How could you be an anti-BOB in tough situations, trying instead to be a Lighthouse to others? Do you allow BOBs to influence you? Why are you going to the back of the bus if you know that’s where the BOB’s are? If you don’t make an intentional decision to avoid the BOBs, you will gravitate to them and they will influence you. Remember, some BOBs are wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing, so watch out for the subtle deceptions of the evil one. Some of you might be equipped to influence the BOBs in your family or life. That is a great opportunity and challenge, but comes with potential for them to influence you. So be careful if you are called to God’s Special Forces for that mission. Don’t be a BOB. Be an anti-BOB!
Dear Father, thank You for loving me even when my character at times is questionable and I act like a BOB. Thanks for sending Your son to model the character that delights You and that also brings me the most fulfillment in life. Please help me develop eyes that recognize BOBs and anti-BOBs and courage to avoid the acute thrills the BOBs will bring. Help me submit to the Holy Spirit’s guidance as I see those You put in my life to guide me and model Godly character. Help me be more aware of the influence I have on my kids and family, and be a better steward of my heart and the behaviors that flow out of it. In Jesus’ precious name; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;
1 Corinthians 1:26-27
Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.