Proud men .......... do what is required
Proud men do what is required ? Let me explain.
When you are at work and the company owner comes to the employees and informs them that the company will close unless some drastic changes can be found and implemented, the question is: What would you be willing to do to save the company and with that your job?
Or your family's safety is jeopardised. What would you be willing to do to keep then safe?
Well, if you understand that, the questions I want to raise today is: What would you be willing to do, to be the man you were meant to be? Would you do what is required?
Lets take this further by using a story.
There once was a man. This man had a dream. Well, he actually had many dreams, but usually when they did not make any sense, he dismissed them without any further thought. But then, one day (yes, during the day) he had the following dream:
He walked into a huge hall with high walls and saw many, many men hanging upside down against the walls, suspended from strings anchored in the roof. What was immediately evident was that the strings were attached to their fingers. One string to each finger .... 10 strings in total for each man. Suddenly, his own fingers were also attached to strings and he thought it was uncomfortable and even painful. Even worse, one of his fingers was already numb, as blood supply was limited by the tightly wound strings. He turned to a friend and asked him whether he also found the strings painful. The friend replied by saying no, his strings were attached yesterday already and that it seems that with time, you get used to it and it becomes acceptable. The friend then said goodbye and said that they would not see each other for a while as they will be hung up against the walls soon. At this the man replied: "I will not stay bound to the wall, even if I have to walk with crutches afterwards".
This is completely weird, is it not?
Why on earth would I tell you such a crazy story?
Well, its crazy until you see and understand the symbolism in the story:
Men work with their hands and their hands are worth little without fingers. When a man's fingers are bound, he is completely ineffective and even though he thinks he is busy, not much will get done.
The modern world is all about work and work and work. It seems that hard work is required to earn a good living, then to spend it and then having to work hard again to afford the next expenditure. They do not call it a "rat race" for nothing, its because its a race with no end in sight.
In terms of relationships men need to be fathers and friends and sons, work is one example of strings that can bind us to such an extent that nothing else gets done.
Since all men do it, it becomes natural to us and in our world and nobody sees the fact that their hands are bound anymore. They get used to it and do not feel the strings after a while. They do not realise that it is unnatural and painful. And when it is painful, they simply wait until is gets better, for this is the way it has to be.
If you should cut yourself loose from the strings, you will fall to the floor and probably cause some pain in the process, but its not the cutting that is to blame, rather the fact that you were tied up in the first place. But then, you will be free and you will be able to be effective again. To be what you should be, again.
Does it make sense? Not yet quite I suppose, so lets summarise it.
If you allow work to become the only thing you live for (or the money you earn), it will bind you in such a way that you will not be able to be and do what you are suppose to.
If you allow bad habits to govern your life, it will bind you until your are not able to move and be worth anything.
If you allow poor relationships into your life, it will eventually bind you and prevent you from being what you should be.
And even worse, you will start to say things like "it must be this way" or "I am this way" or "I have no control over it" and after a while, these things will be your normal. When you look around you, you see others like that and you think: "this is the way its supposed to be".
BUT it is NOT !
You have to answer the initial question now.
What would you be willing to do to cut those strings that keep you from being the man you are supposed to be?
Would you be willing to take the pain that may accompany the cutting of the strings? So that you may be free?
Would you stop working those long hours and accept earning less and learn to live within that so that you can spend more time with your family?
Would you break with bad habits and go though the pain of beating the urges on a daily basis so that you can be a father that is an example to his son?
Would you break those poor relationships and live without friends for a while so that your wife can get all your attention?
To what purpose you may ask should I endure those pains that will follow cutting myself from the binding strings?
So that you can be free from what binds you, what makes you an ineffective man, and allow you to chase being something that is worthwhile. To become a proud, present, loving, respectful, hope bringing man, husband or father, grandfather, uncle or friend.
So ask yourself:
What are the strings that bind me?
What am I willing to do to get rid of the strings and be the man I should be?
In the Bible, Isiah states in Chapter 2 verse 8 that "their land is full of idols, they bow down to the work of their hands, what their fingers have made".
Work of our hands can become like something we bow down to, but many other things can do the same. Whatever you bow before, you submit to, and it is in control of you.This bowing down to work (habits, relationships, etc) is what binds you and keeps you bound.
In regard to being bound, God says that we should only tie around our fingers what is good and beneficial to us. In Deuteronomy 6:8 He says: "tie them (the commandments that I gave you) as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads". He wishes that we should tie to our fingers what He wants to give us, as they are there only to free us from strings that are painful.
In Philippians 4:8 Paul states that we should "fill our minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable". These things are examples of strings we should seek, strings that free us and allow us to be good, proud men.
Today proud man, cut away those strings that prevent you from fulfilling your destiny as a man and seek those things from God that are good.
Then we can become men that are not hanging upside down, bound into place, unfulfilled and ineffective, but real and proud men that love, care and serve those around us.