Faith Identity

In Search of a Godly Man- Part 2

The journey continues. So far, we have found three of the thirteen qualities of a godly man. The question lurking beneath the surface is Are you a Godly Man?  Here’s the deal. Either you are moving towards godliness or you aren’t. Either you are making strides, with God’s help, or you are stagnant on your own agenda and making a convoluted mess of things. As we look to the next three qualities of a godly man, take stock of your life. 

To recap, here is the scorecard from the last post. 

Scoring Legend

0=This godly characteristic is non-existent

5=I’m seeing some evidence of this godly characteristic, but I have a way to go. I’m hopeful.

10=Not that I’m perfect but this quality is definitely evident in me. 

Quality #4.  Discipline 

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV

There are days I hate discipline. Days, I don’t want to be self-controlled. Just let me loose, consume what I want, gorge myself, and waste my body and my mind. 

Then, I awake from my daydream

And realize that fleeting urge to lose it all works against the very heart and soul of what makes me a godly man. Discipline. The boy in me wants none of it and yet God has designed discipline into the fabric of Christ-like godliness. 

I discipline my body and keep it under control,

Why?  lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

We’ve all heard of preachers who have fallen hard usually through sexual sins or character flaws. They thought they would pose as godly men to the public and yet have this secret, undisciplined sin life. What is so broken inside to think Christ is this image to portray while you can live this secret life of undisciplined forays? 

Tension

Believe me when I say that tension between the disciplined versus the undisciplined plagued me for decades. Until I realized discipline, in Christ, brings a far higher level of meaning to life than what we falsely assume unfettered freedom provides. 

Restraint is unwelcomed by those who do not hold godliness in high esteem. So, even on days you and I want unfettered, undisciplined freedom, may we see that godliness and discipline are directly connected.

Quality #5. Strength

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 ESV

The weight lifting area of our local YMCA is filled with young guys intent on bulking up. Their tattoos and piercings add to the ripped look that they are using to show off their strength. Strength of body and soul are meant to stand against adversaries as well as lift up those who cannot help themselves. 

In your strength, shoulder the blame and carry the burdens of those who are weak.

On a recent trip to Canada, my wife took ill, and had to be hospitalized. Things were not looking good. Her weakened condition not only required medical care but called me to literally carry burdens she could not. 

Where does such strength come from? Sure, I work out at the YMCA, but I’m not ripped like the other guys. Strength of body helps carry things someone else cannot, but the strength of character, which is of far greater value than just body strength comes ultimately from a man who lives by the Holy Spirit. 

Here’s the clue

Look at the verses just before Galatians 6:2. In Galatians 5 is a list of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; against such things, there is no law.

When you live by the Spirit, these qualities become more apparent in your life, such that living by godly strength becomes a way of life for you.

I hope you are one of those guys in the weight room. I hope you bulk up and get ripped. But, for as much effort as you do, value strength of character even more.

Quality #6. Confidence

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

    and do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him,

    and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV

I did not say cockiness. Rather, a solid view of yourself based upon who God says you are. Look, my understanding of life is limited. Try driving on the winding roads of eastern Ontario. You can’t see over the next hill or curve. What I see in life may have wisdom and merit, but only if I value and engage in the greater value and pursuit of trusting the Lord; with the totality of my heart. 

Scaredy Cat!

Too many of us, myself included, pull back and end up as followers. We are not willing to step out of our safe lives and truly trust God. Trusting God means he will help you blaze new trails, new paths, and new visions. In all honesty, launching Mentoring Warriors has been a step into the unknown. Where is God taking me? What is around the next curve? Who will sign up for the next Mentoring Warriors Boot Camp? Am I even good at mentoring? 

Open Admission

All I know is when I admit in all my ways that God is my life, he will straighten up my understanding-sometimes with a kick in the pants, but always with his hand on my shoulder. I have no clue where God wants to take you next, but I do know this; He is 100% for making your life saturated with godly confidence. And, such confidence only comes as you trust in Him, 24/7. 

What bold paths can you confidently blaze in Christ?

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of www.Mentoring-Warriors.com. Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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