todd clark

When To Poke The Bear

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

I was recently made aware of a bear who had spoken some harmful and untrue words about me to a another person, and those words negatively affected my future. It’s important to note that even the person to whom the bear spoke, didn’t believe the bear, but I was still concerned …

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

I went to bed that night planning to poke the bear the next day.  In fact, I had already spent much time and energy preparing my arsenal to unload on the bear. This bear didn’t stand a chance.

However, when I woke up the next day I felt different. A good night’s sleep had recalibrated my confidence and refreshed my perspective.

I decided not to poke the bear.

Here’s why …

1. The bear might really wake up.  In other words, I actually do not know if this bear has attacked me before, but I am certain that this bear loves to attack.  Before I decide to go on the attack myself, I believe 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)

2. 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, I believe 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 fuel and incentive to future attacks.

Fire goes out for lack of fuel,
and tensions disappear when gossip stops.
(Proverbs 26:20)

3. 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.

  • Lisa Reply
    October 27, 2016

    God’s timing is perfect! I needed to read this today. Thank you!

  • Jesse Dishner Reply
    October 31, 2016

    What great advice! This is very applicable to me.

  • Brannan Mirr Reply
    November 6, 2016

    My husband and I have always admired your wise words. You are missed at CCV, but glad we can still get a Pastor Todd Clark fix 🙂
    May God continue to bless you and your family.

    Brannan Mirr

    • Todd Clark Reply
      December 2, 2016

      Sorry this slipped through – thank you Brannan – blessings to you this season!

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todd clark


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