17 Mar Different By Design
Different by Design: The Truth about Biblical Manhood and Responsibility
I was 10 years old when my father gave my older brother and I a pair of boxing gloves and a set of workout clothes. The gloves were designed for sparring so it would limit cuts and brain injuries. The set of boxing clothes were composed of sandals and shorts-flexible and comfortable. Whenever my father came home from his business trips, he would teach us how to box after school. I think this was his way of preparing us for manhood. He was teaching us how to channel our energy by learning a skill that allowed us to make mistakes.
Our existence was based on God’s design, His image and likeness. The likeness and image of God is to represent goodness, love, righteousness, and be involved in thriving, healthy relationship.
As Pastor Muche points out, spiritual flourishing involves being fruitful and responsible. But man became the epitome of pride and selfish ambition, thereby rejecting the truth about responsibility.
Not My Job
The fall of mankind was a result of Adam and Eve failing to reflect God’s righteousness. When Adam was confronted by God, he did not take responsibility for his actions but rather blamed it on somebody else. So, what gives? Are we to replicate the mistakes of the first Adam by blaming him?
Manhood is experiencing a crisis. Delaying manhood by means of rejecting responsibility is to amuse oneself and make life better in his own terms. It is a creation of a modern eden, a dystopian option. When you get to a point where you’re actually living in a distorted reality, it begins to distance you away from the truth.
Fight the Good Fight of Faith
1 Timothy 6:11 -12
11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Even though social standards in this day and age approves delaying maturity and nonchalantly accepting responsibility, there is more to life’s purpose than seeking one’s own best interest. The verse above tells us that if one has wandered away from the faith, one must flee from the things that caused this distance. If we find excuses not to work, we must toil and use our hands to provide for our family and not use them to steal or for means of battery.
Accepting responsibility is aligning our behavior with the righteousness of God.
Again, Pastor Muche’s words ring true as he said, “Men, our first line of defense with temptation and sin is not trying to stick it out but, RUN!”. To pursue faith, love and steadfastness through faith in Jesus is to accept responsibility. Christ is our model of manhood because he has the qualities that equip us to carry out the action of being responsible. Jesus fulfilled his responsibility to save us from God’s wrath. He modelled true manhood when he took the charge and the accountability that was due to God by dying on the cross. He lived a perfect life by modelling true community, inclusivity and bearing the burden of others. That is the truth about accepting responsibility.
Are you in a state of a punch drunk reality? Are you living in a lie when your response to a church sermon only becomes a knee-jerk reaction that you mindlessly spew out about the day’s teachings upon leaving the church? To propel our understanding on accepting responsibility, I think we need to think deeply on this closing question, “Where am I living responsibly and rejecting responsibility in my life in terms of relationship, church, and community?” Let us ponder on that as we strive to accept responsibility through the lens of Christ.
Written by Pastor Debin Acaso