Don’t Poke the Bear

by: Todd Clark  |  November 14th, 2016  |  Coaching> Communications  | 

Bear: A person from your past who might harm your future.

Have you ever become aware of a bear who has spoken some harmful and untrue words about you to another person, and those words negatively affected your future?

Have you ever thought …

  • Has the bear done this to me before, and I was unaware of it?
  • Would the bear do this again?

When that happens, we often go to bed at night planning to poke the bear the next day.

This has occurred several times in my life. Usually, if I get a good night’s sleep, it completely recalibrates my confidence and refreshes my perspective.

So I come to the conclusion …


I’m not going to poke the bear.


Here’s three reasons why…

  1. The bear might really wake up.  In other words, I actually do not know if this bear has attacked me before.  Before I decide to go on the attack myself, I would be wise to relax, assume positive intentions, and see if this bear decides to attack me again.

Don’t jump to conclusions—there may be

a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.

(Proverbs 25:8 MSG)

  1. I do not need the sideways energy in my life. I have so many good things going on in my life that hunting down evidence and confronting a bear would just rob precious time and energy from the good things I get to do today. In fact, one of the greatest ways to reduce future bear attacks is to not poke back at the bear. If I attack back, I could unintentionally add incentive to future attacks.

Fire goes out for lack of fuel,

and tensions disappear when gossip stops.

(Proverbs 26:20)

  1. In a counter attack, I become a bear myself.  I work very hard not to carry negative feelings and emotions over from day to day, week to week, and season to season of life. If I poke the bear, it could cost me more emotionally than it does the bear, and it would make me look a lot like a bear as well. Furthermore, if I choose to treat the bear like a person instead of a bear … the bear might even end up shaking my hand one day instead of clawing at me!

When God approves of your life,

even your enemies will end up shaking your hand.

(Proverbs 16:7 MSG)


You have good things to do today, so don’t poke the bear.

Todd Clark

Todd Clark brings 25 years of ministry experience – in churches sized between 400 and 23,000 – to the Slingshot Group. Todd is a passionate, creative, socially-savvy, team-focused, results-driven leader with a unique blend of ministry experience. He served as… Read More