God Needs Men with Blemished Characters
Author : Tom Graneau
Historically, men’s character—the combined attributes of moral strength and integrity that was given to them by God—has been under scrutiny. This is because their inconsistent conduct in the areas of leadership in society and in the home have become less than admirable, causing a vacuum in the culture for demonic invasion.
Additionally, God has never been pleased with substandard conduct from men, particularly when the problem resides in the church. Years ago, he confronted ancient Israel with the following statement as he looked for a man to perform a specific task: “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one” (Ezekiel 22:30). The issue had nothing to do with the absence of the male gender in the group, but rather men that lacked character, discipline, and courage.
An aspiring model
What type of character is God looking for in men, especially the ones who claim to model their lives by his nature? The best way to answer this question is to use an inspiring piece that I recently discovered during my research. The version below is a modification of the original, which I tweaked slightly to reflect the qualities that God expects from us. Please read the piece thoughtfully.
GOD NEEDS MEN…
Who cannot be bought;
whose word is their bond;
who believe and trust in him;
who have the fortitude to say no;
who put character above wealth;
who possess an opinion and a will;
who are larger than their vocations;
who will make no compromise with wrong;
who will not lose their individuality in a crowd;
who do not believe that shrewdness is a way of life;
who are true to their friends in adversity and prosperity;
who will be honest in small things as well as in big things;
whose ambitions are not confined to their own selfish desires;
who will pray for themselves, their family, their friends, and their country;
who are not ashamed or afraid to stand for the truth, even when it’s unpopular.
It’s easy to view this model and think that these personality traits reflect a time forgotten—years ago when men attempted to become better human beings. But times have changed, and such an outlook seems unattainable.
But this is not so. Let us not forget that time provides no better opportunity for change than now. For instance, the further back we go in history, the more human carnage we discover. The truth is the world has come through a long period of human savagery to an era of gentleness and compassion, which is largely due to more education. Though things are not perfect—and they will never be—today we have civilized communities with opportunities for personal growth.
There’s also plenty to say about the spiritual conversion that we’ve obtained from God. Our root sin has been forgiven, and God’s spirit now provides grace whereby we can become better people. This means that as Christian men, we now have the opportunity to build and maintain virtuous attributes that are more in line with God’s expectations.
Also, I maintain the belief that people can change when they are motivated to do so. This means that it is highly possible for Christian men to achieve the character that God desires for them if they are willing to change and follow their spiritual convictions.
The attitude for change
The path to character improvement is reasonably easy. As in the preceding model, God’s expectation is humane. First, he is not asking men to be perfect. Such a request would be impractical for people in any era. Second, personal mistakes and failures of the past are not being called into question. And third, men are expected to maintain some latitude for errors in the future, as long as the action is not premeditated. Even then, God retains a posture of mercy and forgiveness toward human shortcomings.
More specifically, God is looking for a pledge. He is asking for a commitment to a cause, determination to the end of a specific purpose, and courage to stand for what is right, even under difficult conditions.
The reality is that when men are sold out to God, their perspective changes. They see fame and fortune as a passing event, life on earth as a temporary existence, and death for his cause as a glorious opportunity to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, becoming morally strong is an achievable endeavor for any man, but more so for those who follow him.
God is willing and ready to obliterate your past
Human errors (mistakes or failures) have never been a major concern for God. “If we confess our sins,” the Bible says, “he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). The context of the verse seems to indicate an invitation to salvation. Yet, its application goes much deeper. It provides a continuous condition through which we can approach our Lord and Savior—Jesus Christ—again, and again when we realize that we’ve made a mistake.
The spiritual danger exists when we ignore our transgressions and allow them to develop into bigger problems. This happens when we trivialize the behavior that caused them or fear that we’re too morally depraved to approach God with the issue and ask to be forgiven.
I would love to tell you that all of my decisions and actions have led to a flawless state of affairs as depicted in the preceding model, but that would be misleading. My life has been tainted by more mistakes and failures than I care to admit. Instead, I have used my blunders in life as education for myself and others, and I’m determined to improve on personal conduct in the present as well as in the future. You can do the same.
The good news is that God is more loving than we can possibly imagine, and he is always ready to forgive our lapses in life. The other aspect of this is that there is no better time for change than now…today. The present provides a tremendous opportunity to become, not perfect, but better men. All you need to do is to make a decision to improve on your attitude and behavior and God will assist you along the way. He will provide the necessary grace for victory.
There comes a time in life when we must decide to do what is morally right and sustain the behavior indefinitely. My hope is that you will realize that the time is now. More importantly, God is able and willing to forgive your past and set you free morally and spiritually.
The end result could be potentially invigorating. You could become a tool in the hands of God, prepared and ready to do great things in his kingdom if you allow him to work with you.
What are your thoughts on the matter?
Do you believe that God is being unfair by asking men to commit to a set of standards in a morally unstable environment such as ours? Can men actually live in a way that meets God’s expectations? Should Christian men live by a different set of rules than other men?
If you believe that the Devil is only a symbol of evil…think again.
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