“Better men” don’t just happen. We’re certainly not BORN better. No, the depravity of mankind is pretty deeply etched on the heart of every man.
Becoming a better man is process that finds its power in a transforming relationship with Jesus Christ, and its application in where we spend our time. Paul would say it like this, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, for the days are evil.”
What does it mean for us as men?
1. It means we should be CAREFUL with our time. As in “be sure you spend your time in the right way.” That means we ask, “what should I do with my time?” This is the Bible’s command to not waste your time on things that don’t matter. It’s not an attempt to squelch your fun, but it’s a warning that you are writing your checks (your time) on a diminishing account. One day, it’ll be all spent. Are you spending it well?
2. It means we need to consider what we’re LIVING for. If I’m going to be “wise” and not “unwise,” I need to figure out what’s important. One survey says that men spend more than 34 hours a week entertaining themselves by TV, internet and gaming devices. Really? Nearly as much time as some work? So what do we do at the end of life when we’ve discovered – at the age of 65, we’ve spent 3,412 days of our lives (nearly 10 years!) watching television and getting nothing done. That’s not living – that’s wasting!
3. It means we need to MAXIMIZE our lives by planning our time. Instead of wasting 3000 days of our life, we should plan to use our time in a way that matters. In the fourth quarter of a football game, clock management becomes critical. Why? Because you’ve only got a few minutes left!
For illustration purposes, one author placed the years of a man’s life next to a day calendar lasting from 7 am to 11 pm. It looks like this.
If you’re 15 years old, it’s 10:25 am in your life/day.
If you’re 2o years old, it’s 11:34 am in your life/day.
If you’re 30, it’s 1:51 pm.
If you’re 40, it’s 4:05 pm.
If you’re 50, it’s 6:25 pm.
If you’re 60, it’s 8:45 pm.
If you’re 65, it’s 9:51 pm.
It’s a sobering question. What do you want to do with the rest of your day?
Have you looked around you lately? This nation is falling apart. Literally. We’re experiencing massive upheaval in our culture. The plates are shifting. Morals are under deliberate and steadfast attack and the enemy of the grace of Jesus Christ is emboldened.
And, for the most part, churches stand idly by and watch. Christians sit back in their chairs and think of something else to dwell on.
Our forefathers in the faith would cringe at our inaction.
Three things must happen immediately:
1. We must pray for revival and spiritual awakening. We must corporately and personally cry out to God for victory. He alone can change things.
2. We must unashamedly and intentionally share the Gospel with our communities – on the porches and doorsteps of our cities. We must do this by equipping people to share it – mobilizing the largest under-utilized missionary force in the world. The Gospel alone can change lives.
3. We must stop making Christianity about our comfort, our desires, our traditions. It’s like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. The church alone is given the mission – let’s stop diluting it
Get under the umbrella of prayer for spiritual awakening and sharing the Gospel. Do these two things well. It is these two things that were present when Paul reached all of Asia Minor in two years. (Acts 19:10) It’ll be these things we do that change our world.
How Do We Act Like Men in our Conversation? Paul tells us to “act like men” in 1 Corinthians. Eventually, our “talk” is affected by the power of the Holy Spirit within us. How do you talk? How should a “better man” talk? Russ Gregory finds these four keys in the book of James to help us.
1. Act like men by learning to LISTEN. “…. But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.” James 1:19 I was always told that we have two ears and one mouth – and that this fact reminds us to listen twice as much as we speak! Teachable men, better men learn to listen!
2. Act like men by learning to keep our MOUTHS CLOSED“ For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man…” James 3:2 James tells us there are simply times we need to exercise self-discipline and “shut up.” If I could recall the many times I’ve said what I shouldn’t have, I could save a LOT of collateral damage. Only the Spirit’s power can help us here, so learn to die to self and lean on His power!
3. Act like men by learning to understand the DAMAGE we can do. “And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body ……” James 3:6 Can you remember when someone around you BUILT YOU UP with their words? Powerful, isn’t it? Can you remember when someone TORE YOU DOWN by their words? Painful, isn’t it? Build up, don’t tear down.
4. Act like men by learning not to CURSE. “With it we bless our Lord and Father; and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come both blessing and cursing….” James 3:9-10 Real men don’t waste words – and they don’t pervert language. Cursing says nothing good about you, your intelligence or your attitude. It shows what’s lacking.
Men, our words can bring life and blessing to those around us – and they can bring destruction and cursing. So, BUILD one another up with your talk.
Thoughts from John Meador and insights from God's Word.