Watch Your Handoffs

Deuteronomy 6:6–9

FAMILY. The place where principles are hammered out on the anvil of daily living. Where character traits are molded and shaped under the watchful eyes of moms and dads. The batons in this relay are many.

Determination. “Stick with it—regardless.”

Honesty. “Speak and live the truth—always.”

Responsibility. “Be dependable, be trustworthy.”

Thoughtfulness. “Think of others before yourself.”

Confidentiality. “Don’t tell secrets. Seal your lips.”

Self-control. “When under stress, stay calm.”

Patience. “Fight irritability. Be willing to wait.”

Purity. “Refuse anything that lowers your standard.”

Compassion. “When another hurts, feel it with him or her.”

How is this done? Over the long haul, believe me. There are no 100-meter-sprint courses on character building. Relays require right timing and smooth handoffs . . . practiced around the track hour after hour. And where is that? The home. God’s built-in training track for runners. That’s why He urged all the dads in Moses’ day to relay the truth:

You must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.


What a genius plan! In the everyday grind of life, relay the truth—diligently . . . consistently. If you determine to do this, you’ll have to fight two major mistakes that plague the relay: slow starts and sloppy handoffs. You really don’t have forever, moms and dads. Procrastination is an enemy. Nor can you dump a ton of truth once or twice a year. Crisp, sharp handoffs at just the right time each day make winners out of runners.

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at

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Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.