What is a man? That’s the question that’s been on my mind this week. Is a man tough like John Wayne or Clint Eastwood; or is a man a meek and humble person like Mr. Rogers? Is a man someone that others fear or admire; or is a man someone that goes about his everyday life taking care of his family with no regard for fame and fortune? Is a man someone that others will remember for his faith and good works after he’s gone; or is he someone who will be remembered for his infamy? I’m sure we all have our own ideas about what a real man should be. Here is mine.
I recently lost a friend who died unexpectantly. I only knew this man for a couple of years before he died. In that time he was always sick. He was on oxygen that he carried with him. He was overweight. His legs had poor circulation and he had to wear compression hose during the day and use a machine at night to keep the fluid from gathering in his legs. He had a really hard time walking. I’m sure he had other issues that I’m not aware of because he never talked much about his ailments. This man wasn’t much older than me. He certainly wasn’t much to look at and I’m quite sure that anyone who saw him wouldn’t think of him as a great man–oh, but he was. This man had quite an influence on me in the short time I knew him. This man loved The Lord and he loved people. He put his faith in Jesus that He had paid the penalty for his sin and he would one day inherit the Kingdom of God. That day has come for my friend. He is now rejoicing in Heaven. He was a man.
The Bible teaches us how to be a man and how we should live our lives. The first thing we must do is acknowledge that we are not perfect and that we have all sinned against a Holy God. That is not easy for what society considers a man to be. We must admit to others that we have weaknesses. Second, we must understand that there is a penalty that must be paid for our sins before we can be justified and sanctified before God. That penalty is death by the shedding of blood and eternal separation from God. However, it can’t be just any blood. It must be the blood of someone who is perfect in every way. We also must admit that we are powerless to pay that debt. There is absolutely nothing we can do to ourselves to become justified. Third, we must acknowledge that we need help. The only One that can help us is Jesus Christ because He is the only One who has ever lived a sinless, perfect life. God The Father cannot be in the presence of sin of any kind. Therefore, God The Father sent His one and only Son to Earth as a man, born of a virgin, to live a perfect, sinless life to pay the blood sacrifice that must be paid. He did this because He loves us and He wants His children to be with Him for eternity in Heaven. Then, we must believe that Jesus Christ was crucified, therefore shedding His blood, was buried, and then was raised from the dead therefore conquering death and now He sits at the right hand of God The Father waiting for the time to come call His children home. If you believe on these things, then you will be saved by grace, through faith, in Christ. These four things are the beginning of becoming a man. We must humble ourselves to God Almighty before we can do anything else.
Once we do these things, we are not finished. The race has just begun. God didn’t call us and save us just to sit around and wait on Him to call us home. On the contrary, He now expects us to share the love He showed us to others. This is where it becomes difficult for many of us. Here in the USA, we have been taught that through hard work we will get recognized. This recognition comes in various ways such as titles we get through promotions, money we have accumulated, and possessions we can show off. All of these things gain us the recognition that we so much crave. Unfortunately, these things are not the things of God. As Christians, we are to show the love to others that God has shown us. He showed that to us by sacrificing His son, which was His greatest possession. Therefore, we should also sacrifice our best in order to show that same love. Now, we are not expected to sacrifice the lives of our children. That would not help anyone. The shedding of Jesus’ blood was the only way we could gain salvation. That price has already been paid for those that believe. But we are expected to give the best of our time, talent, and treasure. I believe my friend did these things.
Time is one way we demonstrate the love that God has shown us to others. When we know someone that needs help, we must sacrifice our time to help them. Sometimes, all we need to do is visit that person and talk with them. There are times that our presence is all that is required to encourage and motivate another person. There is nothing that needs to be done, nothing needs to be said, just our presence is all that is needed. Of course, there are times that we must take action as well. Someone may need to talk and needs to hear our opinions. Someone may need help moving or building something. Someone may need us to pray with them and not just for them. We must be willing to sacrifice our time when someone else needs help. It is our responsibility to make the time to help others in the name of Christ without bringing attention to ourselves. My friend did these things.
Sharing our talent with others is another way of sharing the love of God. God has given every believer has some talent or talents. Some have the talent of playing a musical instrument or singing. Some have been given the talent of encouraging others. Hospitality is another talent many people have. Maybe you have the talent to build things, repair things, or the knowledge to operate things. Perhaps you have been given the talent to teach others about The Word of God. Whatever your talent is, it is your responsibility to use it to help others in the name of Christ without seeking attention. If you have not yet discovered your talent, then it is your responsibility to find out what that talent is. My friend did these things.
The things we hold most dear are our treasures. Whether that be money or possessions. The first thing we must understand is that everything we have is by the grace of God. He tells us in His Word that the things we store up here on Earth will be destroyed, but the treasures stored in Heaven will last for eternity. The things we have here on Earth should be used to bring honor and glory to God. His Word tells us that we should not worry about tomorrow because He will take care of us. If we use our treasures for Him, we will never have to worry about anything. It is our responsibility to determine how much we give and how we use our treasures and to do so with a loving spirit. My friend did these things.
So, there it is. To be a man, we must first humble ourselves to God. We must accept His gift of salvation by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ. Then we must share our time, talent, and treasure with others in a way that will bring the honor and glory to God and not ourselves. My friend was a man.