1 Timothy 5:8
But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. NKJV
A man is measured first by the size of his wallet, second by the size of possessions, third by the size of his genitals, fourth by the size of his muscles, fifth by his ability to conquer other men, and sixth by his philanthropy. Yes, in the world, a man is measured by these six things. Size and acceptable overcoming power is everything in the world. However, this scale of the earthly man’s six points of measurement are set upon all things that are passing. For how can money, materials, muscle and might, be appreciated and seen to be of eternal value and consequence in a liver spotted bald and crooked old vegetable, or a corpse, a trust fund, or a broken down and moss covered old stone plinth?
In the legacy church a man is measured first by his size of his congregation, second by the size of his social media following, third by the quiet breadth of his all-embracing non boat rocking ecumenism, fourthly by his maintained outward respectability, fifthly by the worldly success of his family, and sixthly by his outward compassion. Yes, in the legacy church, the respect of Sodom, the admiration of Babylon, size and impact, and therefore by extension, untainted worldly influence, is everything. For what is a ‘ministry man’ without worldly influence?
God’s tape measure is marked with a very different scale to these two, however, and His six points on His scale of true manliness encompass all eternal depths!
God first measures a man then, is by the tensile strength of his personal adhesiveness. The Bible calls this faithfulness. God measures a man first by his faithfulness. Above all a man must be found faithful to the Word of God, faithful to the callings of God, faithful to the directions of God, and faithful to his wife!
God secondly measures a man by his willingness and action to provide for his own family. This is an extension of faithfulness to those in the immediate circle of his personal responsibility. Such willingness to work, must come before any ability to do so, for there are many lazy losers who have squandered their ability. Willingness coupled with action, shows a man’s responsibility to provide for his own family.
God thirdly measures a man by his personal integrity. He is true to God and he is true to himself. He may well have right aspirations to improve his position, but concerning his own condition, he knows himself. He has a sober view of who he is. He is who he is. In him is no inward self-deluding guile, and no outward deceiving subterfuge. In him is no pretense nor pretentiousness. He is a truly honest man.
God fourthly measure a man by his daily contentment with necessities. This is a measure of thankful joy, it is a measure of knowing the passing of time, it is a measure of personal preparation for eternity, it is a measure of thankfulness, it is a measure of the acknowledgment of the true source of all things. For sure, a faithful man providing, should have both treasure and have store. But his joy and therefore his contentment is in the present day provision of food and clothing, of sustenance and covering. He is thankful in the basics, and without shirking his responsibilities of personal provision, acknowledges God for the ultimate providing of both his daily bread and his daily breath and also of God’s continued morning mercies in any of his coming tomorrows. He is therefore a thankful and a happy man and is content with what he has today.
God fifthly measures a man by his long suffering patience, his continuance on the path of obedience and honor, and by extension therefore, of his well observed courage. This courage is not noted in a moment of glory, but is seen to be manifest in the minutes of each passing day. It is the outward expression of applied faithfulness and integrity, of work willingness, of contentment and joy, and of hope for the future. Courage is continuance on the path of God.
God lastly measures a man by his actions of sacrificial love. This is the binding cord of the former ‘five a day,’ and without such sacrificial love, everything else is become but a banging gong, an eternally unprofitable parade, and a foundation of sand which provides no lasting support for anything eternal. God’s ultimate measure of a man, is of that man’s actions in loving sacrificially.
Let me ask you tonight then. In God’s eyes, are you a man?
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!!
‘If’ – by Rudyard Kipling
Disturb us, Lord, when We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
A prayer attributed to Sir Francis Drake