We are living in a day where “macho-ism” is much debated. On one side we are seeing the decline of manhood, and on the other side, we see some very misleading concepts of just what it means to be a man.
I remember, like you may, as a child being influenced to think that certain traits or feats accomplished is what makes a man a real man.
From an early age, we are impacted by such influences that are set before us. These may range from Popeye the Sailor Man and his muscles magically inspired by spinach, to The Lone Ranger, Superman, John “The Duke” Wayne or some other macho figures. Or they may be a great leader like George Washington, General Douglas MacArthur, and Audi Murphy. Or think about the influences in the world of entertainment and sports. How many young boys grow up wanting to be like Michael Jordan or Peyton Manning or some other favorite athlete? Maybe it was a Preacher, teacher, or another leader in your life.
Whoever it may be, we have all been influenced to some extent by the role models set before us as to what a real man is.
The question beckons: does it make you a real man if you are a cowboy, drive a big truck, have the most toys or guns or fishing rods, have a lot of money, have the biggest muscles, have a high IQ or can throw a football like John Elway?
The truth is, none of these make you a man. They may make you popular, but they are not the true measure of manhood.
There should be no argument that the greatest man who ever lived is the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, we know He was and is God, but what is it that makes Him a great example of what a real man is? The truth is, everything about Him is great and should be a pattern for us.
One of the greatest characteristics of Christ that we are instructed to pattern ourselves after, is found in Philippians 2.
It does not have anything to do with our muscles, but rather with our mind.
Philippians 2:5-8: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
There is not a doubt that physically, Jesus must have been a “man’s man.” I mean, He worked as a carpenter and He took the beating and scourging and all that was involved at Calvary.
When we think of Jesus Christ, according to the Bible, He is the Lord of Lords, the coming King of Kings, the Son of God, the Great I AM, and the Almighty; yet we see in Philippians 2, not a Powerful King forcing His will upon others, but rather a Humble Servant. Jesus, the One who created Heaven and Earth and all that in them is, humbled Himself and became a human, a servant. God became flesh. Deity wrapped Himself in humanity and limited Himself for a time in order to redeem mankind.
Can we learn from Christ’s Humility?
- “Humbled” means to make low, bring low; to level or reduce to a plain; to depress, or humiliate, or to abase.
- Webster defines “Humility”: in ethics, freedom from pride and arrogance; humbleness of mind; a modest estimate of one’s own worth.
This is a far cry from what the modern world promotes as manliness, yet this is to be the exercise of the mind and the attitude of believers. As Christian men, humility is to be our mental attitude and mindset.
This is exactly what Jesus Christ willingly did. He humbled Himself! Though He was God and could have exhibited His Almighty power, He chose to humble Himself for the good of mankind and the glory of God.
Throughout His earthly life, we see Him submitting to human powers when taxes were due and submitting to physical limitations such as hunger, thirst, and rest. We see the God of Heaven humbled when He was crucified when He had the power to overthrow any of the men who took part in that gruesome event.
- Let’s not mistake His humility for weakness. We find Him on two occasions (John 2 and Matthew 21) cleansing the Temple.
Humility is closely related to meekness, and meekness is not weakness. Meekness is rather gentleness or as someone has said “strength under control.”
Does humble describe our character today?
Though we may have the power to enforce our will, do we keep that power under control and choose not to enforce our will at times for the greater good and God’s glory?
How can I apply humility to the areas of my life?
- Our Homes. As husbands, do we always have to have our way? Do we force our will on our wives or children, just because we have the power and we want to always have our way? Many marriages and families have been damaged if not destroyed by such an attitude.
- Our Homes would be happier, holier and more honouring to God if we practiced more humility.
- Our Churches. Do we have the mindset that it has to be our way all the time at church? Do we have the attitude of the kid who does not get his way on the ball field, so he takes his ball and goes home? Many churches have been destroyed because someone had to have their way.
- Our Churches would benefit greatly if we practiced humility instead of haughtiness.
- Our Social and Work Life. Do the people you are around at work or in whatever social realm you are in always have to succumb to you and do things your way? Are you the boss and everyone knows it? Could you make life easier on others by not demanding your will at all times?
- Our work places and social lives would be more positive and productive if humility was more often practiced.
May God help us all as we submit to Him and His will and learn to submit to one another! May I encourage you to humble yourself and Be A Real Man!