Men Need Other Men

This scene from the movie Facing the Giants, to me, is one of the most inspirational scenes I have seen.  No matter how many times I have seen this it always stirs my heart.

After Brock basically wrote off any chance of winning their next game in front of the whole team, Coach gave Brock a challenge to do the death crawl further then normal.

At first Brock seemed to be just appeasing the coach.  Saying “I can go to the 50 without anyone on my back.”  Coach said, “I think you can do it with Jeremy on your back.”  Asking Brock if he would give his very best, Brock at first said “Yeh.”  But the Coach continue to ask if he would give his very best and finally Brock said “Yes, I will give you my very best.”

Before the coach let Brock start his crawl he blinded folded him.  Coach said he didn’t want him to give up when he reached a certain point.  By blindfolding Brock, it caused him to listen to the coach and not allow sight to dictate when he would quit.  Men this is what we need to do.  We need be blindfolded to what is happening around us that will keep us from keeping our eyes on Christ.  For once our eyes are off of Christ, we will revert back to a man living a defeated life.

Throughout the whole crawl the coach was right there supporting Brock and encouraging him.  Letting him know when he was getting off track and needed to go a little more to the left.  As Brock went further and further he stated complaining that it hurt and it was tough.

“Coach, it hard.  It hurts,” Brock said numerous times.

Now the Coach is on his knees right next to Brock continuing to encourage and saying, “I know it’s hard – I know it hurts.  But you have got to keep going.  Brock don’t give up”

When Brock was finished with the crawl he was not at the 30 yard line… 50 yard line – he was in the end-zone.

This is a prime example of why men need other men in their lives.  To push them when the going gets tough.  To encourage them when they don’t think they can continue.  To be right there beside them when they are hurting and life is hard.  To help in their time of trouble.

Do you think Brock would have made it to the end-zone if the coach had not been there encouraging him to keep going?  I don’t think so.  He would have stopped as soon as the hurting began and it was getting tough to keep going.

This is the epitome of Ecclesiastes 4:9-10; “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.  For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.  But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up.”

Finally, the Coach laid down on the field right in front of Brock’s face and continued to encourage him.  Telling him, “Brock, you are the most influential person on this football team.  God has gifted you with the ability to lead.  If you walk around defeated so will everyone else.”

Men…You are the most influential person in your families lives.  God has gifted you with the ability to lead.  If you walk around defeated so will they and so will your wife and children when it comes to their spiritual lives.  You also are an influence to other men.

Will it be easy?  No.  No one said it would be easy.

As men we have a unique God gifted opportunity to affect the next generation coming behind us and to encourage the current generation.

Men you need to give you very best to God.  To help you do that, you need to allow another man into your life to encourage you – even when it hurts – keep moving – don’t quit.  Give your very best.  Yes … sometimes it may hurt so bad that it burns deep within your soul and you feel you cannot make it.  But don’t stop – don’t quit – give your very best to our Lord.

Men… you need to examine your life to see where you are.  We need to examine ourselves – often.  Plato is quoted as saying: “The life which is unexamined is not worth living.”  Even scripture tells us we need to do this.

Lamentations 3:40 tells us; Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the LORD.  Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 13:5; Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.

We need to ask ourselves; “Do we have an intimate relationship with God?  Am I spending time with him each day in scripture and meditation?  Am I praying like I should?  Are we applying the teaching of our Lord into our everyday lives?”

If you are not in the faith, Christ is your only answer.  Only he can remove the darkness, and allow in the light to begin the transformation of your life.  Others of you may need to examine where you are in your relationship with God.  There may be something you need to repent of and return to the Lord.

Just like the coach said to Brock I am going to tell you, Don’t tell me that you cannot give more to God than what you have been doing.  God has gifted you with the ability of leadership; to be discipled and to disciple others.  Men your church needs you.  Your family needs you.  Your Pastor needs you.

Allow other men into your life to encourage and walk beside you or you could become like that man in Ecclesiastes 4: 10 who didn’t have another to lift him up.

Support Our Men and Women in Blue

I am saddened by the events of the past couple of weeks as I am sure many of you are.  Because of the events I have made it a goal to go out of my way to personally thank any law enforcement officer I come across.

Praying with PoliceThese men and women put their lives on the line every day when they put on that uniform and begin their day.  Families don’t know, and it has become more real to them in the past few weeks, if the hug or kiss may be the last one they may give or receive when their love ones walk out the door.  Wives wonder if they will be left to raise a family on their own.  Children when they reach an age that they understand what dad is doing wonder if their Dad will come home.

Many of us who do not have a family member working in law enforcement do not understand the anxiety and anxious moments spouses may feel when the phone rings while their significant other is at work.  These men and women in blue and their families need our prayers and support.  I have heard stories over the past week of people paying for officer’s meals and praying with them.  This blesses my heart and encourages me to know there are people who truly care about out men and women in blue.  It encourages me to do the same if I have the opportunity.  Maybe you too can extend your wallet to cover a meal or pray with an officer.

These are not bad people.  They have chosen a noble profession.  One that puts their life on the line.  Every people group has a bad apple or two that shows up from time to time.  Even in my garden this morning I had to remove a bad tomato from the bush before it contaminated the rest of the tomatoes.  Every business has to weed out bad performers periodically.  But that doesn’t make the whole group bad.

Make it a point to place these men and women on your prayer lists and pray for them regularly.  Go out of your way to tell them how much you appreciate their service to the community.  Give them a hug or a firm handshake.  Pray with them.  I am sure they will appreciate it and I am sure you will feel blessed by doing so.

Scripture tells us that “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.  For if they fall, onP4Pe will lift up his fellow.  But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up” (Ecc. 4:9-10).  Well our brothers and sisters in blue have fallen – not because of their actions but because of others – we need to be there to lift them up.  Don’t let them be alone and not have another to lift them up.

Show your support.  Not because you may need their help one day; but, because they deserve to be respected and honored for their service.

Do For Others as Christ Has Done For Us

John 13:15 “For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.”

This is a short statement made by Jesus after he had humbly took off his clothes, put on a servant’s robe and washed the feet of the disciples during Passover on the night before His death.

The interesting thing that many of us miss here is that Jesus had just humbly bowed down and washed the feet of Peter who would deny Him three times later that night and more interesting, Judas’ feet who would betray Jesus in just a few hours.  Both – because Jesus is God in the flesh – He knew beforehand what each were going to do.

Jesus provided an example to us that even if individuals are treating us poorly.  Even denying us or turning against us we should still treat them as Jesus did Peter and Judas on that fateful night.  Jesus could have easily said when He came to those two, “Sorry, you are going to deny me” and “You are going to betray me” but he didn’t.  Jesus treated them the same as he did the other 10 disciples that night.

So when people speak badly of you, curse at you, or betray your confidence, think of what Jesus did.  He still showed mercy and compassion to those who turned against Him and humbly bowed and washed their feet because of His love and desire to have fellowship with each of them. Therefore, we should take His example and do as He has done for us.

Do for others as Christ has done for us.