Monday, April 21, 2014

Muscleheads Aren't All That

Read: 1 John 2:12-17

I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.                     1 John 2:14

     Because I want to do what I can to stay in shape, I go to the gym a few times a week. I lift weights, not to get huge, but to stay healthy. However, there are quite a few “muscleheads” at the gym who seem as if they live only to have bulging muscles. They have muscles popping out of every possible spot on their bodies as they push up massive weights that hang on the ends of bent bars. Many of them are very proud of what they have accomplished – made obvious by the fact that they like to see themselves in every mirror they pass by. Sadly for them, physical strength does not define a man. If physical strength was the standard, they would be the manliest of men, but I know men an eighth of their size who are far more manly than they will ever be.
     The problem is, most of the muscle-bound behemoths have a completely different standard that they use to define manliness. They are living by the world’s definition of what it means to be a man. The real standard, however, is set by the Word of God. It is not physical strength that defines a man, it is moral strength. That would mean that a man with five-inch biceps and every pirate’s dream (a sunken chest) could be more of a man than the world champion body builders. A man with a physique akin to an eel could be stronger than a man with an anatomy much like a gorilla. It also doesn’t matter if you reach the other extreme and your nickname is Hippopotamus. You see, God gives a man his body shape and size, but He leaves the choice to us as to whether or not we will follow His standards of true strength. Have you accepted Christ as your Saviour? Do you live a life of purity? Is your life characterized by honesty, integrity, and virtue? That is what God is looking for to define His manly men.
     Few men would be disappointed if God had endowed them with the ability to gain large muscles and the admiration of onlookers. But don’t be ashamed if you fall far short in that category, for that is not what makes a male manly. God is looking for those who will stand up for righteousness, take the moral high road, and live the life that He has planned since the beginning of creation for them to live.

Quote of the day: “Only those who have questions about their manhood must prove that they are men.”

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