I’ve had a book on my shelf for several years that I haven’t looked into that much, but it’s a resource I will be perusing as I work on my posts regarding manhood (Biblical manhood, that is). It is called Disciplines of a Godly Man by R. Kent Hughes. I was reading some of the introduction Monday evening and Hughes gave several examples of men we would likely consider to be geniuses, men like Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Hemmingway, Mike Singletary, and Winston Churchill. While these and others were born with natural gifts in certain areas, what makes them stand out is the discipline they forced on themselves which allowed them to become great.
One of the Fruits of the Spirit is self-control. I’m pointing the finger at myself just as much as at anyone else when I say it is sad to see Christians struggling with things like obesity, lying, cheating, pornography, and a multitude of other vices. I understand that it involves a conflict between flesh and spirit, but it seems that with the Holy Spirit indwelling all believers, such troubles should not be as prevalent.
This speaks to a real problem in the American church. Just a few Scriptures will show how far we have gone from the proper path. Consider 1 Tim. 4:7, 1 Cor. 9:25-27, and Heb. 12:1. We are admonished as Christians to train ourselves, to do so with intensity, and to cast off all things that hinder us from living a godly life. I can look around the room where I am sitting and see plenty of things to distract me from what is truly important. Frankly, it’s scary. Not just the Word of God, but common sense tells me that if I want to excel in my spiritual life, those things that prevent me from doing so should be eliminated. That, too, is kind of a frightening thought, especially considering the dollar value of the items that clutter my living space. But is the monetary loss a reason to hang on to these things? No! Mark 8:36 contradicts such fallacious thinking.
I’m speaking to all believers, not just the men, but I especially challenge you husbands and fathers to set the example for your families. What things are in your possession that you don’t really need? What things can you get rid of, either by selling* or simply throwing away?
It takes sweat, and many times even blood and tears, to achieve great things. Are you willing to make the sacrifice?
*Please note, I’m not encouraging selling those things that would hinder another Christian’s spiritual growth or even prevent someone from coming to Christ. Such objects would be better off destroyed.