“When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11).
I love this verse because it entails the steps required for male maturity. Indeed, the life of a man is certainly a series of initiations. Starting with death – a separation from the old life, moving into a chaotic state of change, and finally reintegrating into society with a strong sense of self and an evolved level of character.
Has there ever been a time when you felt LESS than a man? Have you ever felt as though society were dictating your masculinity? Have you ever had difficulties trying to engage in authentic masculine maturity only to find that the culture does not permit it?
There are mixed feelings and perspectives about what it means to be a pillar of strength. So what does this mean? It means that society does not dictate your growth as a man, God does. It is earned and developed over time. To be a pillar of strength means to take complete responsibility for your thoughts, actions, and happiness.
A real man certainly has the right idea, he lives with a sense of purpose and contributes his attention to what is good for God, Family, and Friends.
Here are three big ideas to get you moving in the right direction:
“Humility is a heart attitude, not merely an outward demeanor” GotQuestions.org.
Pride is dangerous. It lurks in the shadows, like an insidious parasite, waiting to attack and undermine our potential to make a positive impact. Pride lives in all people, including myself. The unfortunate problem with pride is that we can see it in other people but rarely see it in ourselves.
Pride diminishes our capacity to lead. It diminishes our the capacity to accept weaknesses in ourselves. It diminishes our capacity to relate to others and create healthy and sustainable relationships. Indeed, the true mark of a confident man is his humility. He is neither limited nor incarcerated by his weaknesses, instead, he looks deep within himself and acknowledges his need for change.
In what ways has pride shown up in your life?
We all have them, but we don’t always accept the role with diligence. If we all embraced personal responsibility for the things we are responsible for – surely, the world would be filled with stronger more foundational men, committed to their tasks. Irresponsibility is very hard to see in the mirror. We all think we are taking responsibility. But are you taking full responsibility for every area of your life?
Have you ever heard a child say, “that is not fair?” to which the response might have been, “life is not fair.” Have you ever been that child?
Unfortunately, life can’t be fair, that would be impossible. But if we are not careful, the “not fair” attitude can quickly turn into irresponsibility.
Though “responsibility” might seem like a burden, in reality, the more responsible we become the more freedom we gain. It is counterproductive to avoid taking responsibility in order to gain freedom. Imagine for a moment what your life would look like if you managed your finances in such a way that you no longer carried debt? How much could you save? How many countries could you visit? What kind of life could you live after retirement?
Would you ever trade wealth, influence, and power for a bowl of stew?
You’re probably thinking, “what kind of question is that? heck no!!” That is exactly what Esau the brother of Jacob did.
Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom. Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left (Genesis 25:29-34).
I’ve never met a man that has not gone through this in one form or another. Every man has gone through this. Sometimes our appetite gets the best of us. Do you have self-control over food, sex, or alcohol? What kind of appetite controls you? What opportunities have you lost as a result of giving into instant gratification?
Imagen what your life would look like if you had mastery over your moods, your words, your reactions, your schedule, your money, and your health?
The question now becomes, how does one master self-control? The answer is simple – slowly. There are no shortcuts to self-discipline. Understand the basics before climbing your mountain. Simple objectives such as having well thought out goals, creating a clear vision, and having the right people to keep you accountable are sure ways to boost your productivity.