Discover the Map to the Path Great Men Walk
- Friday, August 27, 2010
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of David Murrow's new book, The Map: The Way of All Great Men, (Thomas Nelson, 2009).
Too often, churches send men conflicting messages about how they should live, leading to confusion over whether God wants them to be tough or tender. But the Gospel of Matthew contains an ancient map that great men from Bible times on have followed. Jesus revealed that map to help men find the path that leads to the life He wants them to live.
Here's how you can walk that path and grow along the way into the kind of man God wants you to become:
Develop and balance the two sides of your nature. Recognize that God created both men and women with traits that our culture views as traditionally masculine and feminine, and it's important for both genders to develop and balance those two sides of their natures, since they reflect God's own qualities. Some traditionally masculine traits include action, aggression, goal orientation, achievement, competitiveness, and power; while some traditionally feminine traits include contemplation, relationships, receptivity, emotion, communication, nurturing, and harmony. As a man, it's vital to develop all of your natural traits to grow to your fullest potential and become a complete disciple of Jesus.
Observe Jesus' life and teachings in the Gospel of Matthew. In Matthew chapters one through seven, Jesus' life and teachings reflect feminine traits, since He is mostly humble, meek, and submissive. Then in Matthew chapters eight through 25, Jesus displays masculine traits, since He is mostly powerful, bold, and outspoken. Finally, in Matthew chapters 26 through 28, Jesus returns to feminine traits again, since He is mostly meek, passive, and sacrificial. In both word and deed, Jesus shows the spiritual journey He calls all men to take. Chapters one through seven illustrate the journey of submission, chapters eight through 25 portray the journey of strength, and chapters 26 through 28 show the journey of sacrifice.
Take the journey of submission. This journey lays the foundation of a successful walk with Jesus: submission. Men must begin their journey with Jesus by laying down their own strength, power, and intelligence so they can take up weakness, dependence, and reliance on Jesus. Men must embrace Jesus' humility to learn to love God and receive His love. This challenge can prove to be a stumbling block that causes some men to reject Christianity. But keep in mind that when men have given enough of their strength over to God in submission, He begins giving His strength back to them. The first trail marker along this path is powerlessness, since you must decide to stop relying on your own limited power and rely instead on God's unlimited power to help you. The second trail marker is depending on God to provide everything you need. The third trail marker is submitting to the rules that those in authority over you - such as in church and government - set. The fourth trail marker is embracing God's unconditional love for you and acceptance of you. The fifth trail marker is to fight from a position of weakness by refraining from trying to use your own strength to fight battles while inviting God's strength to flow through you to fight them for you. The sixth trail marker is to avoid isolation by gathering a team of fellow Christian men to meet with regularly, and support, encourage, and hold each other accountable as you grow closer to Jesus together. The seventh trail marker is to remember Jesus' message from His Sermon on the Mount, that submitting to God will form a strong base on which to build the rest of your spiritual house - one that will remain standing when the storms of life come.
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