Faith Identity

In Search of a Godly Man-Part 4

So far, we have found nine 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 last four 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 #10 Growth

Like a dog that returns to his vomit

    is a fool who repeats his folly. Proverbs 26:11 ESV

I’d like to think that every decision I make is spot on and right. I thought I’d be daring and try a new restaurant. For the cost of lunch, let’s just say it was so, so. I’ve had better for less. I hate making mistakes. Granted, I do not believe for one moment that life is a test; a series of dots that God wants us to connect. If we miss one dot, we are doomed. Not at all! Free will and God’s sovereign hand work together in such ways that they seem humanly mysterious and yet divinely ordained. Such that when I bomb and flat-out ruin things, God is able to take my weaknesses and mistakes and help me learn from them. Otherwise, I will be like a dog that returns to his vomit. In my utter foolishness, I repeat my folly 

I read this once… “know and grow yourself. Attend to weakness and learn from your mistakes.” 

A godly man is far from perfect. He will make mistakes, but instead of beating himself up over them, he extends grace to himself; the grace God shows him and learns from his mistakes. Perhaps, I can even laugh over my faux paux!

Quality #11 Charity

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 1 John 3:17 ESV

Ouch! If you survey the wealth of all nearly 8 billion people on the planet, most of us reading this post are in the top 1% of wealthiest people around. And yet, many of us consider ourselves broke. I recall my college days with literally $3.00 in my account till I got paid for my on-campus job and my folks sent me my monthly stipend. I wasn’t a wild and crazy guy in college. No drinking binges, no wild parties, no splurges except for the occasional Dairy Queen or midnight donut shop run. And yet, even in my college poverty, I was wealthy. Rich.

Some guys (who say they love Jesus) take on careers that will literally bring in millions of dollars over the course of their working lifetime. Millions. And yet, they will be the stingiest, most hard-hearted men around. And on the flip side of the coin, there are those guys who have a myriad of jobs throughout their working career, with barely two nickels they can rub together. And yet, they are the most generous men around. I know of one man who works a low-paying servant-type job, loves Jesus like none other, and yet is one of the most generous men I know. He would literally give you the shirt off his back. 

True generosity comes from God himself. When we see His infinite grace towards us in sending his Son Jesus Christ to pay for the cost of our sin, his generosity becomes ours by faith, as we trust in him. What compels a man to generosity? Anything else is a pretense, ulterior motives.  A godly man gives with NO expectation for anything in return. Nothing. Who do you see in need? How generous will you be?  (Keep in mind, generosity is not the same as enabling.)

Quality #12 Mercy

For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. 

Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13 ESV 

There was a time in my growing-up years that I was anything but merciful. My younger sisters would take my bike for a ride without asking permission and invariably would come back with a flat tire, that I had to fix!  Talk about ready to beat the pulp out of my sisters!  Or, when I was called pizza face because of my teenage explosion of acne! “Let me at ’em!”

I had no mercy, only judgment. The reason? I had no mercy for myself. Why? I didn’t believe God had mercy for me. I was a messed up teenager. Aimless, carrying a form of godliness but having no real depth of character in my soul. 

Things Changed

Here’s a quote that gripped me: “Life is hard. Be kind. Look through their eyes before passing judgment.” Something changed in me. When I saw the mercy God showed me in spite of my sin, my mistakes, and my failure, I realized that I was going about the injustice the wrong way. We each sin in our own ways, and much of that sin is fueled by wounds. Insecurity growing up was one of my wounds. Misuse my stuff, give me a flat tire or call me pizza face, and that wound in me festered and exploded! Perhaps, the insults and the injustice are more about a person wounding others with their own wounds. 

When Jesus sees a wounded/sinful soul, he responds with compassion. He extends mercy. The question always is, will you and I receive it?  Will we respond with repentance and mercy ourselves?

“Lord, give me your eyes to see what my friend is so troubled about.”

We have this weird idea that we cannot judge. “To each his own.” we say as we watch young couples who say they love Jesus have sex before marriage. Or, as a young man dives deep into porn forays. Or, as a young married couple takes on the woke ideology that works against the very faith in Christ they grew up with. Do we say nothing? Judgment is offering discernment, not pronouncing eternal damnation. It is possible to show judgment in the context of mercy. Mercy must always come first. 

There are times I show mercy and the receiving party refuses it. What am I to do?  I can’t force them to receive mercy. I extend my hand. I show undeserved mercy. I lay it before them and walk away. Perhaps, God will work in them and grant them repentance and a willingness to accept mercy.

A godly man is a merciful man.

Quality #13 Love

Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14 ESV

This one is short and sweet.  In all that you and I do, in all that a godly man looks like, love is the bottom line.  Love is what Jesus shows us continually and it is HIS love that we are to show others.

A godly man is above all else, loving.

Warrior On!

Special thanks to Instagram @fishersofmen21 for some of the supporting material for this series.

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of 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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