The Measure of a Man

Jerry Bailie's picture

He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.  (Proverbs 16:32 KJV)

There are countless opportunities for conflict and disappointment in this sin-afflicted world of our.  Even worse for us are that those relationships that are most important to us are those that often seem to end up being the most difficult when these times come.

Patience can be challenging when we are facing provocation from someone.  After all, as a guy we pride ourselves on not taking any flak from anyone.  Our natural desire is to go on the attack immediately with full-force when we've been attacked.  We treat conflict like a pretext for full-scale war whether it be psychological or physical.  In our culture this is an instinctive response to being a "real man" by which we are often measured based on our physical strength, mental toughness, and our ability to intimidate others.

However and interesting as it may be the Scriptures offer a wholly different measure of strength and maturity.  The above verse sets the tone I believe for this, read it again and focus on a few words; "slow to anger"  and "ruleth his spirit."   These represent two qualities; patience and self-control that everyone of us who has been renewed in Christ should possess.  Of course we know that there is "a time for war" (Ecclesiastes 3:8), but this is reserved for danger to life and limb.  When we treat all situations as if they're the basis for war, we invariable destroy those we were meant to build up.

Patience goes against the grain of our old nature and prevailing culture, but it is truly the mark of spiritual maturity and we will not be the man that God wants or expects us to be without it.

As you focus on these words take a few moments and think about your life as you identify one area in which patience and self-control don't come easy for you.  If you are like me, it will not take long to do that and when you do, take the time to pray for God's help and direction in your life and continue to pray about it, I can assure you the change will come.

Many Blessings!

Jerry

 

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