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Saturday, January 3, 2015


Living Up To The Name

“Be a man; be made strong”[1] (1 Corinthians 16:13).

Some years ago I found myself in a hospital elevator with a couple of other men. It was late at night and we all looked exhausted.

The elevator came to a stop and an outsized Owyhee County buckaroo ambled in, wearing a battered Stetson, boot jeans, an old, stained sheepskin coat and run–down logger boots. He looked around the elevator, met our eyes and growled, “Good evening, men.” All of us straightened up. We were trying to live up to the name.

“Living up to the name” is what men are mostly about. We want to be strong, tough, and independent. As Shakespeare put it, we aim “to pass for a man.”

But the truth is, God fears our strength. Men who are strong in their own strength are bothersome—rushing about on their own, overly optimist about their abilities, fearless, invincible, all-knowing, blatantly self-generating, and generally getting in God’s way. They never amount to much in God’s scheme of things.

Real men realize that it takes God to make a man. Apart from him human strength is useless. Paul’s philosophy of life, “We are weak,” is not pious palaver. It’s a humbling fact.

So put yourself into God’s hands to be made into a real man. Give him your heart’s affection. Ask him to shape you to be like Jesus, the manliest man that ever lived. He’s faithful and he’ll do it!

David Roper


[1] The verb is passive!

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