“To man up is to live up to who you are: a beloved son who loves and obeys his heavenly Father!”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 21, 2022
When I was a child, I spoke, thought, and reasoned in childlike ways as we all do. But when I became a man, I left my childish ways behind. 1 Corinthians 13:11, VOICE
What do I mean by man up? To man up is to be a man. Mature. Responsible. Not complain and blame, but take ownership and be a part of the solution, and not contribute to the problem with immature ideas and behavior. I’ll confess, some days I am weary of being responsible and problem solving. I long for the days of no one to think about but myself. Carefree and childlike with few responsibilities. But God. But God, has a plan and His goal is for me to move beyond my boyhood self-centeredness to the other-centeredness of being a godly man. Manning up makes me a better version of myself. To move beyond pettiness to embracing God possibilities!
The vision to grow up and get going for God is wisely embedded in the famed love chapter read in many weddings. Not a word in the Bible is random—only purposeful, and here is another beautiful example, as the Apostle Paul explains. Love is the motivation and method to move beyond relational immaturity to relational wholeness. Temper tantrums, demanding my way and tearful manipulation are childish tactics that prolong emotional healing. Reasoning like a child is a small world reserved for small people, while mature thinking imagines God’s bigger world. Immaturity’s remedy is to leave naive whining behind and follow love’s most excellent way!
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things” (Philippians 3:14-15).
You man up by growing into a man of God. Seeking first His kingdom, not building your own kingdom. In the Kingdom of God, you serve at His pleasure—not consumed by your pleasures. The maturity of becoming a man means your purpose in life as His beloved son is to passionately go after God. Jesus invites you into a life journey with Him that culminates in eternal life with Him. Christ is the prize—so stop striving for the other competing rewards of status and stuff.
Remain childlike in your dependence on your loving heavenly Father, but distance yourself from frivolous childish behavior. Love is obedient. So lean into loving the Lord by obeying the Lord. Cease from seeking to fix another, and focus on the Holy Spirit smoothing up your spiritual and emotional rough edges, so you daily offer the generous gift of the best version of yourself. A life canvas of beauty out of brokenness fetches the highest bid in the Almighty’s auction house of heaven. I’ll leave you compelling words from Henri Nouwen on how Jesus loved and obeyed:
“Jesus is the obedient one. The center of his life is this obedient relationship with the Father. This may be hard for us to understand because the word obedience has so many negative connotations in our society. It makes us think of authority figures who impose their wills against our desires. It makes us remember unhappy childhood events or hard tasks performed under threats of punishment. But none of this applies to Jesus’ obedience. His obedience means a total, fearless listening to his loving Father. Between the Father and the Son there is only love”.
To man up is to live up to who you are: a beloved son who loves and obeys his heavenly Father!
“Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).
Heavenly Father, give me the faith and courage to step up and man up, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
What immature ways do I need to replace with the more excellent way of selfless love?
Elevation Worship feat. Pat Barrett: This is the Kingdom
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