Becoming men of God

By Jan Davis
Special to The PREVIEW

“Suck it up, you can do this. Real men don’t quit.”

We’ve all heard dads say this to their sons on the practice field or in the gym. We may even be guilty of saying it ourselves.

In today’s society, a man is measured by outward strength. We teach young boys to be physically strong and mentally tough. To never show signs of weakness. To stand up for themselves and be a “man’s man.”

Young men are defined by sports they play. Outstanding players rewarded with jerseys and letter jackets. A symbol of success to be worn with pride.

The Olympics is a competition of the greatest athletes from every nation. Contestants come from the four corners of the world to compete against each other. They put in long hours, make sacrifices and prove themselves in order to participate. The best rise to the top as “a man among boys.”

More is learned about a person’s character through the agony of defeat than the elevation onto a platform and fame. A true athlete is humble in victory and gracious in loss.

The world judges a man by his physical stature and abilities, but God inspects the heart of man and examines his inner power.

In comparison to an athlete, let’s contemplate the life of Jesus. As a child he is found in the temple. The Pharisees felt threatened by his knowledge of the law. They were impressed with his intellect, not his size.

Jesus respected his parents and obeyed their instructions. With a humble spirit, he worked in his father’s carpentry shop. Hidden in obscurity for 30 years.

After his baptism by John the Baptist, in the dirty River Jordan, the Holy Spirit led him into the wilderness. There he grew weak from hunger. Satan approached him at his weakest physical state. Jesus drew from the depth of his inner self to overcome the temptations and conquer the enemy.

Throughout his ministry, he showed compassion for the poor. Jesus did not elevate himself above those he taught, but through the use of parables revealed the truths of God to the common man.

Tax collectors and sinners welcomed him into their homes. He saw past the outward appearance and into his heart. Jesus did not acknowledge failures or accomplishments, but searched the soul of man to reveal his actual character.

He prevented a riot when he failed to cast the first stone at an accused prostitute. He stooped to her level rather than lording over her. Jesus did not judge the source of the valuable perfume, but received the sweet fragrance as an ointment for his tired and dirty feet.

Jesus overturned tables and ran money changers out of the temple, angered at their selfish disrespect for the house of God.

Ten thousand angels at his disposal, yet he suffered alone, in silence before his accusers. With his final breath he asked His Heavenly Father to forgive his persecutors as he hung to die on the cross.

Jesus didn’t defy the Pharisees to gain recognition as a teacher. He didn’t perform miracles and healings to increase his followers. He didn’t exalt himself as King, but rode a donkey into Jerusalem. Jesus didn’t even claim his rightful position as the Son of God. In humility and understanding of his greater purpose — salvation for a lost and hurting world — he lived a servant’s life.

Using Jesus as an example we should raise sons to be “men of God.” To show empathy for others, live a humble life, respect the Church, and forgive those who mistreat them. Like Jesus they will become a real “man’s man” in today’s world.

Because of Jesus, our sons possess an inner asset of power and might.

Matthew 3:17: “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved Son, (Jesus) in whom I am well pleased.”

I love you, but Jesus loves you more.

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This story was posted on November 3, 2016.