God is calling men

Published 10:13 pm Friday, April 6, 2018

By Chris Surber

When I was a young Marine, now retired Sgt. Maj. Bill Shaw used to say, “You don’t get to complain. You only get to share solutions.” Complainers complain. That’s what they do. That’s what defines them. We do not need more of them.

I’m convinced that in this current age, with the decline of churches, the decline of moral society, and everything else that we could complain about, God is calling Christian men to stop complaining and get to work.

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God is calling Christian men to have soft hearts, not soft heads. Have you ever noticed the way men, especially fathers, are portrayed in situational comedies on television? So often, they are the bumbling fool who can’t dress himself, waiting for his wife to solve his family’s problems.

Men, defy the caricature of the grunting American male. God’s Word calls us to lives of radical compassion and intelligent interaction with the world around us. The trouble is, so many of us use our intellect to sharpen words for cutting, rather than to shape tools for healing.

God is calling Christian men to have sharp minds, not sharp tongues. The tongue is a great tool for building or an ugly weapon for maiming. It’s our choice. Will we cultivate our words to bear fruit for the Kingdom or craft them to tear others down?

With His words, God spoke the universe, the world, and all the life contained within it into existence. What are we doing with our words? Are we selflessly creating life or selfishly destroying it? It’s our choice.

God is calling Christian men to live with open hands for healing and generosity, not clenched fists for fighting. My first enlistment in the Marine Corps was operating amphibious assault vehicles; gator tanks that operate in sea and land.

I’ve served and trained with some of the toughest and potentially most dangerous men on this planet. One thing that has always impressed with me with the vast majority of truly tough men is that they tend to be very kind men. Maybe that is because they have little to prove to weaker men. Perhaps that is because they view their strength as a tool for helping weaker people.

I tend to think it is because along the hard road of training and sacrifice upon which they acquired their skill and mental fortitude, they learned that kindness is the most honest expression of strength.

In I Corinthians 16:13-14 the Bible says, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” (ESV) Just like the old Marine Corps recruiting posters, I’m convinced that God is looking for a few good men.

What choice will we make today? What kind of man will you be? Will you be a sharp-tongued, fist-smashing complainer or an open-handed, kind-hearted healer? The choice is yours.

Chris Surber is the pastor at Liberty Spring Christian Church in Suffolk. Email him at chris@chrissurber.com.