The Measure of a Man

Measure of a Man

What does it really mean to be a man? 

Welcome to a new series.

And by this blog title, we do not refer to the physical measures of a man. We are not talking metric and imperial units here. Professional athletes do not get a free pass. We are asking one question: What is a real man? What would be the increments on the measuring stick that sizes up a real man?

A quick disclaimer to all the women reading this: please do not feel undervalued. Yes, this series is directed at men. But a massive reason behind that is because of one thing: I am convinced that one of the biggest problems in the world is our men. However, I take it that many of the points I will make are valuable for both genders. So feel welcome.

And if you are game, keep reading.

Ultimately, the measure of all men is Jesus Christ. This is the ultimate premise behind every post in this series. Jesus Christ is the standard. The straps of his sandles I, and every man that has or ever will be, are unworthy to untie. And he came to set every man and woman free from his and her failures and fallings short. Therefore, we look to Jesus.

It is fitting, therefore, that we are going to work by an acrostic word. STRAP. Each letter stands for something that I characterise as being a true hallmark of a real man. And to do that – we are going to privilege the voice of men. And I’m not just talking males. From now on, when we refer to a man, we are talking about a man. A real man.

Another quick disclaimer: I by no means consider myself a model of any of these qualities. Hear this. It is precisely as a result of my own failure and frustration that I was forced to consider what it takes to be a real man. So. Disclaimer over. Let’s get into it.

Time to man up.

____

WHERE A MAN STANDS

A real man must be willing to live for what he believes, and die for it

Where a man stands.

This is our first letter in STRAP. A man must be crystal clear in where he stands. Absolutely crystal clear. He must know where he stands on weighty issues. He must have convictions. A real man must be willing to live for what he believes, and die for it. 

Men. Do not be misled into thinking where you stand is a passive activity. It is a very active role. An extremely active role. To maintain right standing, a man must consistently push back against the impulses that would drive him in the other direction.

I once heard someone say that life is a river, not a lake. It is spot on. If we are not careful, and if we are not keeping watch, the current and the flow of this world will drag us downstream. We learn something crucial by this: in order to maintain your stance, there must be a constant moving against opposing forces. The battle must not be belittled. 

A man must not be swayed by a crowd. A man must stand by his convictions when the whole world is screaming at him to move. A real man is unmoved by opposing forces. A real man stiff-arms fluffy triviality as a way of life, and embraces a life marked by a ferocious urgency towards everything worthy. This is our first measure of man.

Time for some examples.

“The measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of controversy and challenge”

Martin Luther King Jr.

This man stood by his convictions not just in moments of comfort and convenience. No, it was in a time of extreme controversy and challenge where he was not found shrinking away. He stood up. He stood up to the challenge. And history would see him die for it.

Martin Luther King Jr was a man of firm convictions. It was convictions that lead him to the podium in front of thousands. It was his convictions that gave him a steeliness to push against the flow. And it was his convictions that caused him to be stabbed and shot.

The result of his life is clear – evident in that I hardly even need to explain his life to you. Whilst not every aspect of his life was perfect, nor exemplary of a real man, one aspect cannot be disputed: when the current of the world was smashing against him and screaming at him to move, to compromise his convictions, he pushed back.

He stood up.

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

A man amongst boys. If anyone personifies the quote above, which he himself penned, it is Dietrich. With the Nazi movement gaining momentum, the convictions and the climate of Germany was changing in devastating fashion. And devastating it was.

Many were swept downstream.

Hermann Gruner, German pastor at the time, said that “Hitler is the way of the Spirit and the will of God for the German people.” One pastor was even stronger in his wording, simply stating that “Christ has come to us through Adolf Hitler.” Almost incomprehensible stuff to our historically informed and advanced thinking. It is very sad. But it is true. Many of the German people bought into what Hitler was building towards.

But not Dietrich. Bonhoeffer made it his life’s work to stand. He stood firmly in the truth of the word of God. He understood that every man must face the judgement seat of God. He understood every man to be equal. And because of this, he was hung at the gallows.

He stood firm to the end.

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”

Jesus Christ.

We notice a common theme for men who stand for their convictions. They all died. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot for his convictions. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hung. And this should not be unusual. Because the very God they follow said it would happen. 

If you want to be a follower of Jesus, we must deny ourselves. Push against the passions of the flesh that would render us useless for God’s work. We must take up our cross. Join the battle for souls not by killing, but by dieing for others. And we must follow Jesus.

Jesus preached it. And then he lived it. Jesus was nailed to a cross where he died. And with all the forces of hell literally hammering down on him, Jesus stood firm. He was tested and he came out triumphant. Death could not hold him. Check Galatians 2:20.

All of these men stood for the glory and the absolute holiness of God. It is what drove Martin Luther King Jr. to shout “My eyes have seen the coming of the glory of the Lord!” It is how Bonhoeffer was able to write that “The church has only one altar, the altar of the Almighty … before which all creatures must kneel.” And it was how Jesus, with blood pouring down his face, was able to say “not my will, but thine be done.”

What do you stand for? 

__

A CONCLUSION OF SORTS

Here is the deal.

You will likely not be called to the podium, in front of thousands, to stand for the human rights of millions of people. And you will likely not be called to stand against the forces of evil in the form of a World War. Mind you – it is not out of the question. But it is unlikely. So how can you possibly follow their example?

Jesus calls us to come and stand with him wherever we are.

Got a stance on purity? Have your feet firmly in the responsibility and care of a family? Are you a male role model for other younger guys? Have a conviction around work ethic? Believe in the word of God and his call to love others to the point of death?

Fight against the traps of sex. Work hard to feed and nurture your family. Be careful about how you live your life as one that is a role model. Work hard for your employer. Love God and love others with everything you have got. And then pray for your shortcomings in every area I have just mentioned. They are bound to happen.

But you are invited. Stand as a man in the face of this generation.

Man up.

Advertisements

25 thoughts on “The Measure of a Man

    • Jonathan Camac May 29, 2018 / 1:07 am

      Appreciate it David 🙂 thanks for taking the time to read!

      Like

  1. Jeff H. Ulrich May 28, 2018 / 1:38 pm

    The strength of a good woman is different than that of a good man’s but, when they compliment one another, nature’s grand design is made apparent. Together, a true man and woman is a powerful force to reckon with, as each role is balanced to compensate for whatever might not be as effective in the other to suit a purpose. And true men and women appreciate rather than tear down each other for dominance. This was, in part, the meaning of my post today, “Strength Is as Hatred?” . . . if you so discerned when you read and liked it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac May 28, 2018 / 1:54 pm

      Spot on mate! Well said. You are right in your blog – perceived strength can take form as a real stumbling block and a wide channel for pride. Important we check ourselves in that often. Thanks for stopping by Jeff 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. andremathieucp May 29, 2018 / 2:21 am

    You are a man of God, Jonathan. You are a gifted writer. You share your faith and your convictions. May you continue to grow in relationship with the God you love and become the man that God wishes you to be.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac June 2, 2018 / 12:57 am

      Thanks mate. Awesome thing to pray for – continual growing in our faith and love for God. Because at root, you and I know that without the work of God in us, we have no hope. Appreciate your time 🙂

      Like

  3. Camino Way 2016 Shimer May 29, 2018 / 3:31 am

    Hey there. Thanks for this series and love the start of it. I was talking with one of our daughters last night (she’s going on 31 and this astounding person), and we have talked often about men. She has dated lots, well, most don’t make it past the first date with her because she is just unwilling to put up with foolishness. But, she was talking to her boss a while back and he told her how a guy in the company had come to him asking, “Hey, how come your kids turned out so great?” And this man responded to this question saying, “I could tell you, but you won’t like my answer.” “No, no,” the questioner continued, “tell me.” So the boss responded, “It’s simple. They had a different dad than yours.”

    This boss is the kindest and gentlest of people who is out to love others, so this had no snarky, attitude in it. It was just honest. But what it said loud and clear was this: men matter. Men in families who love. Men in communities. Men in society. And guys who know what it means to be “men.” I love the acronym piece here and beginning with knowing where you stand.

    Many, many men my daughter has met have dad issues that they have not begun to deal with. She can see these all over them, they almost wear them, and my daughter is highly intuitive so it is obvious to her. God has given her such compassion for them. But even encountering all that father pain shows a desperate need for men.

    I was just in a conversation today with a woman whose husband told her last week he wants a divorce. He is running. He doesn’t want to face his own heart and hopes that to leave the marriage, which he has made into the scapegoat of his beliefs about himself, will fix his heart. But it won’t. Unfortunately to leave he takes himself with him, and will find himself still having to face himself. We have a church full of praying people praying for him to wake up and for her to stand and not crumble with the impact of his words that he wants to leave. It’s a difficult place but I think of what he needs to be doing is “man up.” And how seldom do “we do that.”

    Clearly — you got me thinking. Thank you for writing. May many read this!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. marvelvarietal May 29, 2018 / 11:41 pm

    Wow . . . That was the powerfulest posts you’ve ever written. I’m going to love this series! Thank you

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac June 2, 2018 / 12:58 am

      Appreciate that Marvelvarietal. Glad you took so much away from it! Thanks for taking the time out of your day 🙂

      Like

  5. fairchild7 May 29, 2018 / 11:50 pm

    Jonathan: I liked your Measure of a Man … the fact that Jesus is the true man. I also took note of your acrostic, STRAP. If you really like acrostics, you might check out a book that I wrote, Cross-Wise Words: An Acrostic Devotional. It was the result of God giving me acrostics to deal with some really heavy stuff. It is an e-book on Amazon. Examples: Living Out Values Eternal, Fully Assured In Things Hoped, Holding Onto Promises Eternal, Authentic Belief Involves Dwelling Intimately Near God … I like what you are doing with your blog … keep it up. Larry

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac June 2, 2018 / 1:01 am

      Love some of those acrostics Larry! I’ll look up that e-book right away. Thanks for stopping by here mate.

      Like

  6. Mia May 31, 2018 / 2:30 pm

    Great post and loved your choice of men as examples of those who stood strong in their convictions! I can tell this much needed series is going to speak volumes to men “who have ears to hear.”

    Liked by 1 person

      • Jonathan Camac June 2, 2018 / 1:10 am

        Thanks Mia. Matin Luther King Jr. and Bonhoeffer ready stood up. Definitely worthy of being two examples of people that stood for something, and stood firm – even right to the end.

        Appreciate the nomination for that award too 🙂 However, I will not participate this time. All the best for you and for everyone else who enters in it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mia June 2, 2018 / 4:52 am

        No problem! I just wanted you to know I thought you were deserving.
        You can do it at any time, it doesn’t have to be anytime soon, if you want to do it at all.

        Like

  7. Barbara Wilhelm June 1, 2018 / 7:32 pm

    I have three grandsons, ages 15 through 20, all of whom love the Lord. One of them has a call on his life. I will be forwarding this series to them and our Youth Pastor because there is such a dire need for truth, for life in the world today and I want those I know to be fed with meat that will make them strong. Then they can bring life to others. Barbara Wilhelm

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac June 2, 2018 / 1:30 am

      Thanks Barbara. Sounds like you have some epic grandsons! Also, looks as if you have a great hope and heart for the next generation. You are spot on – there is such a dire need for truth. Thanks for your time here 🙂

      Like

  8. gpavants June 8, 2018 / 2:27 am

    Hi Jonathan,

    Great start for your series. You really brought home that it is the inner man standing in Christ that signifies a man. That means even the weakest physically is a real man in Christ. That is the way to man up. I look forward to reading more.

    In Christ,

    Gary

    Liked by 1 person

  9. mypitching.blog June 10, 2018 / 5:58 am

    This also directs not only for men, but every human beings on earth, including women. But yes, “man and woman up”–to Christ be the Glory.

    Like

  10. aner327 June 18, 2018 / 11:02 pm

    Hey Jonathan.
    It looks like you and I are both addressing similar issues at the same time! I am glad you highlihhted the importance of standing as an act in itself. Reminds me of the westerns when John Wayne would jusy stand there. It is confidence in and love of what is right that strengthens us to take such a stand. All the more important for us to stand on the hills we won’t mind lying down on one day.

    I have been doing a series on Christian maturity and would love to hear your thoughts on it.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s