How To Take a Butt Chewing Like a Man

by Kevin on May 13, 2014

I was riding a horse named Atrevido. He was a bay colt that was as athletic a horse as I’d ever ridden. He’d already bucked me off several times and I wondered if this day would bring another round trip ticket to the ground and back into the saddle again.

I was working on the San Pedro Ranch in South Texas and I rode everyday with Antonio Gallegos. He was a phenomenal horseman and cowboy. He had kind eyes and a quick smile and laugh. Physically, he looked like a Mexican version of Curly Bill from Tombstone. He even had the same swagger as Curly Bill and I looked up to him tremendously. Of course, he never tried to kill me and he didn’t wear a red scarf tied around his waist.

This man was a true mentor to me. I listened to every word he said and tried to do everything he told me to do. That was hard at first because he didn’t speak very good English and I spoke even worse spanish, but with a smile and more than a few hand gestures, we eventually understood each other.

And I sure understood the day he gave me a butt chewing. It wasn’t long, but it didn’t have to be in order to be effective.

We were riding back from moving cattle to another pasture, miles from headquarters. We were “visiting”, if you could call it that, and the day seemed to be just fine. We were riding through some low brush and a covey of quail flew up just in front of us. When I say just in front of us, I mean like four inches from my horse’s nose.

I was riding lazy and when my colt spooked, in my effort to hang on, I gigged him pretty hard with my spurs. Needless to say, he took offense to said forking.

I entered the same bush the quail had exited from…rather rudely and headfirst I might add. Then my horse exited stage left at a dead run. I was still spitting out dirt when Antonio rode off quickly to get my horse. He was gone a long time.

I started walking and that sucks…

About fifteen minutes later, two sweaty horses and one cowboy came into view headed my direction. I was so thankful that I didn’t have to walk all the way back and I was preparing a nice little Spanish joke about walking when Antonio finally pulled up beside me. I was smiling, getting ready for my eloquent delivery of my parody, when I looked up into the eyes of the man I admired so much.

That’s when he threw the mecate rein right into my face. My smile vanished as he said, “Que no se repita otra vez!” (That means, “Don’t let it happen again!”)

And he rode off before I could even get back on.

I was crushed. This was the man that had been so kind to me. He had always been there for every question I had. I ate with him every day and I looked up to him as a mentor and a cowboy that I hoped I could be one day. His harsh words, and his actions (more on this in a minute), didn’t just sting, they cut me to the bone. It was a one sentence ass chewing in a language I really didn’t know. And I thank God for it every day.

First, lets talk about my mistake(s).

I was on a colt and if Antonio had taught me anything, he told me to always ride…every single step a horse takes needs to be ridden. You must be ready for anything, at anytime. That horse had only been saddled and ridden less than a dozen times. I was asking a lot of the horse and things were brand new to him. Horses are herbivores and their natural reaction to being startled is to flee. Not only was I not a reassurance to the horse that I was entrusted with, but I was a hinderance to his training that day. Because I wasn’t riding properly, when he spooked, I spurred him and caused him pain.

I was wrong and even after the fact, I became even more wrong. I made another mistake, this one just as bad…maybe worse.

I got on my horse and started blaming Antonio. As I rode towards headquarters, I was half thinking, half saying all kinds of dumb stuff.

“What kind of cowboy would ride off before another cowboy got on? I guess he never got bucked off in the pasture before. He ain’t my daddy and no man is going to talk to me like that! See if I help him the next time he needs help doing something. I don’t care who you are, you ain’t going to throw anything in my face! When we get back, I’m going tell him if he ever does anything like that again, I’m going to kick his ass. Who the hell does he think he is?”

I could have chewed a nail in two. If looks could kill, he would have died from the daggers I was throwing into his back as I watched him ride towards headquarters. But then, right before I got there, I heard something.

curly billIt was a small voice inside me, barely audible above the cacophony of my anger, that said ever so softly, “You messed up and you know it. Be a man and take your ass chewing like a man. He didn’t do it because he thinks you’re worthless, he did it because he thinks you’re worth it.”

Everything inside of me hurt: My pride, my feelings, my heart, my manliness, etc…

Before I knew it, I had got of my horse, loosened the cinch and walked over to Antonio. He looked at me, but I couldn’t read his expression. I have to admit, I was scared to death.

I looked him right in the eye and said, “Lo siento, señor. Perdóname, por favor.” (I’m sorry, sir. Please forgive me.)

He looked at me for a long second or two and then walked away. But as he did, he patted me on the shoulder and said, “Bueno”.


 

You show me a man unwilling to take a butt chewing, no matter if the offense was intentional or not, and I will show you someone who is pretending to be a man and unwilling to grow.

Real quick, let me explain some heavenly roles. In reference to the Trinity, God is the father (doesn’t answer to anyone), Jesus is the Son (submits to the will of the father), and the Holy Spirit (submits to the will of the Father and Son). In a ranch setting, the owner is the boss (doesn’t answer to anyone…and don’t whack me with a religious stick here, just follow the analogy), the ranch manager is the second in command (submits only to the will of the owner), and the cowboy (submits to the will of the owner and manager).

Antonio had every right to chew me out and do what he did because he had been put in an authoritative position over me. Does that mean that I totally agreed with his method? No. Does that mean I would do it that way? No. Just because I may or may not agree with his method doesn’t mean in the end he wasn’t right to correct me. I don’t have to agree with the method for it to be effective.

He was my elder, my superior in rank, knowledge, and wisdom, as well as experience and ability. He also loved me. It was just a tough love that day.

And the most important reason to respect him, even if I disagreed, was that he was appointed over me for a time by the will of God himself and I am commanded to obey him.

Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. 3 For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. 4 The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. 5 So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.
Romans 13:1-5 (NLT)

The church is set up this way: Jesus is the head, church leadership follows Him, and the congregation follows the church leadership as well as the will of Christ in their own lives.

Lots of things can go wrong when this model isn’t followed, but for today, I will only address the two main ones in regard to the subject we are talking about:

  1. The Pastor is afraid to correct.
  2. The Church is unwilling to be corrected.

Pastors

This section is for pastors and church leadership only. Feel free to read it, but if you are not a pastor or in church leadership, you have no say, nor opinion. I say this with love, but it is a ferocious love and I mean it.

Pastors, grow a backbone. The church is being hijacked by people that are sitting in the services, attending your bible studies, singing in your bands, and even putting money in the offering, that claim to be believers, yet are going around and acting like anyone and everything except Jesus Christ. You are not their friend, you are the pastor(s), the protectors of the flock, the example to be set.

What happens is we want everyone to get along and so we all pretend to be BFF’s and then when one of your “friends” oversteps their bounds or does something that needs to be corrected, it makes it very difficult to say something. Most pastors won’t ever say anything. This happens because now you are more worried about hurting their feelings and losing them as friends rather than watching out for them and teaching them how to live their life and conduct their business according to God’s Word.

Also understand, this is not a witch hunt. People are going to mess up. There isn’t going to be a single one that will be perfect or do the right thing every time. Be as gentle as the situation allows, but do not be afraid to be tough. This is especially true in matters of unity. If someone is saying something around town or around the church about you, your spouse, church leadership, or anyone else for that matter, and if they call themselves a believer, you chew their butts.

They won’t like it. They’ll get mad. They’ll accuse you and question you and say all those things that I said behind Antonio’s back that day. And you know what? They’ll either be a real Christian and accept the correction and go on stronger and better than before….or show themselves for what they truly are and go somewhere else and do the same thing again.

Remember though, you cannot expect someone to act Christlike if they haven’t asked him to be their Lord and Savior. You cannot treat a lost person who doesn’t know Christ the same as one who claims to be a follower.

One other thing.

You should have some sort of accountability structure in place. You may have been placed in your position by God, but that doesn’t mean you are always right. You should have some people in place that can have your back in any and all circumstances, even to the point of telling you that you’re wrong, not if you mess up, but when you do. But do not let a back row, casual attender, come in and question you, your family, your methods, or your manner. That is reserved for God-chosen, Jesus-following, good-fruit-bearing, men or women. These people love you enough to stick up for you in public, and go to you in private. Most importantly, these are people who have been asked to fill that role as accountability AND protection partners. There also needs to be more than one person, probably about a minimum of three, fulfilling this role for you and if they go to you, listen to them.

God is going to hold you to a higher standard and if you’ve never been disciplined by God (whether by Him directly or your accountability pards), you weren’t chosen by Him and you are a counterfeit.

Church

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, act like it. You are either all-in, or you are not in at all. Quit making excuses for your actions and definitely quit blaming anyone and everyone else for what you do and say.

Your pastor is more than likely not your friend. This is not to be confused with being friendly. Very few people have the honest capability of respecting someone as a pastor as well as be able to have them as a close friend. If you are one of these people, you are probably on the pastor’s accountability crew or at least you should be (but that’s not for you to decide).

One of these days, if your pastor is authentic and you are a true follower of Christ, you are going to get your butt chewed. If you don’t, then you and/or your pastor aren’t doing their job.  You’re gonna be hurt in some form or fashion. You probably won’t agree with it at the time and that’s fine, but have your little pity party and feel sorry for yourself; make all your threats and your accusations under your breath; go cry or throw rocks at a post; take a deep breath or take a walk, but whatever you do, don’t be a coward.

This biggest act of cowardice I know of is a butt-hurt quitter.

Where do you think the church would be today if Peter would have quit after Jesus chewed his butt? Read Corinthians and look for all the times Paul chews their butts out. What would have happened if David had quit after the stinging rebuke by Nathan? If you make a mistake, intentional or not, take your butt chewing like a man and keep riding.

No butt chewing feels good. They all hurt and sting unless you don’t care about what you are doing. Any good cowboy can go on for days about all the verbal thrashings he has endured. And some of the worst were the silent ones.

I reminded the pastors and church leadership not to go on witch hunts because every believer is going to make mistakes, but the same goes for the congregation. Your pastor, his family, and the leadership of the church are all just as human as you are. They are going to make mistakes too, but the difference between you and them is this: They can chew on you, but you can’t chew on them.

You can talk to them. You can visit with them. You can even disagree with them, but it is not your position to correct them. If you think they need correcting, you go to their Boss and you pray for them and yourselves.

In summary:

Many of you will be going through the “buts and what-about’s” and I’m telling you now that you are letting the devil get a hold of you. Pastors, you are servant leaders and none of what I have said gives you any right to treat people unfairly or expect them to be any more perfect than you are. This is not a license for you to take your frustrations out on those that listen to God’s Word during a service you may preside over.

Congregation, quit carrying your feelings around on your sleeves. Any teacher or leader worth listening to will and should correct you if you are wrong…even if you don’t agree. Quit jumping ship when you might be learning the most.


Oh, and one last thing.

Many of you know me personally and nearly every time I write something, I always get accused of writing about somebody in particular. If you think this post is in reference to you, its not. If the shoe fits, it’s because God is talking to you, not me talking about you.

I got my butt chewed by the Boss and I’m just passing it along so you don’t have to learn the hard way.

Now let me pat you on the shoulder and say, “Bueno…Vamanos.”

 

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  • Kenneth Carter

    It is always hard to take a but chewing,but you can not learn and grow if someone does not care enough to do it .So I agree be a man and be glad they care. God bless

  • Troy A. Starr

    Very good read and a good analogy. We live in a world full of God’s creations that are crying out and groaning inwardly not only for a Saviour that they don’t understand is already here for them, but the “creation” is crying out for Church members to know enough of who they are in Christ Jesus to be led by the Holy Spirit to be able to be a strong support for the moving of God in and through their Pastors, along with the ability of the church members to gather more sheep themselves and have enough of a relationship with Jesus to be able to “If you think they need correcting, you go to their Boss and you pray for them and yourselves. “

  • Sam Hanna

    Very very great read. I have to admit, this boot fits perfectly to an incident at work just a couple days ago. Thank you again for bringing closer God Mr. Weatherby.

  • Mike Massey

    Well said Kevin. This is probably one of the hardest lessons and disciplines that people have to learn. Thank you. Mike

  • Harl

    Good read at the right time. God answered a question I had through you. In all the years the worst butt chewing I’ve had are the ones I remember most. After I vented from the chewing. The same statement popped into my head. “He was right”.

  • Sherri Paul

    Righteous judgment…… just like the butt chewing. Amen! If you follow Jesus Christ, act like it. Good post! Thanks!

  • Carl DenTandt

    Just what was needed in my life. Thank you for your posts Kevin. God sure is working through you!

  • Kinda hit the nail on the head and the commentary was…well…kinda a butt chewing! Thanks, you’re right.

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